Influence that Counts

As Jesus set his course for Jerusalem, the disciples’ selfish ambition is on full display in Mark 10. Following a tough teaching that the last must be first in Jesus’ new kingdom, the disciples are amazed and the people around Jesus are afraid of what He will say next. Jesus pulls the twelve aside to tell them of His imminent death and resurrection. Two of the disciples, James and John jump ahead of the others and request that they sit at Jesus right and left in this new kingdom. The formality of the request stands in bright contrast to what Jesus has just communicated. The disciples have once again misunderstood Jesus, causing a division among the twelve. The jealousy, selfishness, and posturing set them up to learn one of Jesus’ most important lessons. In the Kingdom of God, the one who desires to be great, must first become a servant and slave to all.