Bible Reading Day 65

by markburlinson

Day 65 – Mark 10:32-52

Read online.

Good morning!
Today brings us more teaching about Jesus’ coming crucifixion. He repeats His teaching on these things often, because it will be vital for His disciples to understand (at least in hindsight), even though they seem to be almost blind to what He is saying according to the gospel accounts (see the thoughts on James and John below for example). It is easy for us to think “how short-sighted” but remember, no-one yet knew what God would do at Calvary! It all makes sense to us, but it was beyond the imagination of the disciples to think of such a thing! Let’s not fall into the opposite trap of regarding the death of Jesus too lightly simply because we are familiar with it.
So James and John come to Jesus with a request that displays how little they really understand of what is about to happen. “May we sit to your right and left in your Kingdom?” We know from the other gospel accounts that these two were nicknamed “Sons of Thunder”:  not heavy-duty biker types, more the kind of guys who are so timid they have to ask their mother to give them an introduction to the teacher so they can ask their question! These two timorous apostles see an opportunity to advance themselves, which was misguided but understandable when you see things from that perspective. If we are honest, we have all had times where we put self-interest first, especially when we were scared!

What I find remarkable is the transformation in these two, from their least auspicious moment here to their later exploits for Jesus. James became the first Apostle to be martyred, the result of false witness by an opponent, in 44AD. History records that his accuser, seeing the faith in James’ face as he faced execution without fear, also gave his life to Jesus and was martyred alongside the apostle. John (who was known as the disciple Jesus loved) would be the closest to Jesus at the Last Supper, and would go on to be perhaps the most famous of the twelve – writing the Gospel of John, three letters in the New Testament, and the book of Revelation. He was the last of the Apostles to die, around AD100 in Ephesus. Both men transformed by the liberation of Jesus’ death and the victory of the resurrection, as well as the empowering of the Day of Pentecost. 

Jesus is the servant of all (because He is the greatest of all and the ransom for everyone); we can be transformed in the same manner as James and John. None of us knows whether our transformation will be for a few years or many before we go to be with Jesus. What matters is that our lives count for Him now. Jesus asks you and me, as He asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

How do you reply?