"What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking.
When we are in our formative years, many parents want to instill in their children the values and attitudes to succeed, to be a leader, to be the best you can be. As one gets into their career, many measure success by how much money they can make, their status in the company or in the community and their standing among others. This is the case in most every company or organization. This even includes the church. In Mark's gospel chapter 10, we find James and John asking Jesus that they may sit at his right and left. In other words, that they be his top two in the rankings of the disciples. This caused a stir among the others in the group. In their innocence, James and John wanted to be close to Jesus and be assured of eternal life and so they asked for this gift. It's like a child asking his father for the keys to a new car that the teen didn't know how to drive. Having the car is nice, but it is also dangerous and comes with enormous responsibilities. So does sitting to the right and left of Jesus, and Jesus tells james and john that very thing. Their request also shows possibly some arrogance, or in some sense, a bit of selfishness. These two, and the others, have already witnessed Jesus healing the blind and sick, feeding thousands and driving demons from those possessed. So they may have figured, while Jesus is doing all of these things, maybe he'll grant our request. Isn't that like us in our prayer life? When we pray, many of us do a lot of asking, but unfortunately in our conversations with God, we don't do a lot of praising, of thanking or of just listening. God listens to our prayers and answers them, but sometimes his answers aren't the ones we want. In our ask, we may not realize the fullness of what we are asking in that moment. Jesus explained this same thing to James, John and the others. He went on to explain that the great will actually become servants and be slaves for all. That's not what these two wanted to hear or perceive. In our workplace, in our homes, and even in our church, the leaders actual have to serve others in order for their homes, workplace and church to succeed. These lines can be blurred and many times our leaders can lose sight of their calling. We can become selfish. Pray for our leaders of our church, our country and our communities, that they lead with a servants heart for the good of all and not for self promotion and gratification. Always ask for God's will be done, and not our own will.