What would you ask?1
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
- Mark 10:36-37
James and John approached Jesus with just this moment in mind. They wanted to make a big request of him. They wanted positions of power and authority, positions of closeness to him, positions of influence. To paraphrase Hamilton, they wanted to be in there room where it happens.
Before we judge these guys too harshly, what would you do if you were in their shoes?
Imagine Jesus turned to you and asked you: “What do you want me to do for you?” Imagine you could feel his openness and compassion, his desire for you to thrive and be happy, his radiant power and grace. Your mental Trapper Keeper flips open and pages after pages of options float before your eyes. Would you ask for someone to be healed? Someone to come back from the dead? Someone to suffer or die? Some bills to disappear or a bank balance to grow? Something for you kids or your community or the world? World peace … isn’t that what we’re supposed to ask for?
These men asked to be a part of the something special that Jesus was doing in the world. We can respect that. They wanted to be there with him. We want that for ourselves too. Jesus doesn’t rebuke them for their request (as we’ll see tomorrow), but he also doesn’t fulfill it in the way that they’d expect. They will get to be with him in his suffering and in his joy.
What are some things you’ve been asking of God recently? What would you say today if God asked you “What do you want me to do for you?” What does that tell you about your heart, your life, and your current relationship with God?