Jesus Teaches about Serving Others
Chapter 10. v.35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.” 36 “What is your request?” he asked. 37 They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”
38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” 39 “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering. 40 But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.” 41 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” 50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”
52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
About today's contributor . . . Stephanie works for a non-profit that supports music education in NYC public schools. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dog, Teddy Rockstar.
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Is anyone else feeling a little indignant towards James and John - like the disciples did in today's reading? They just had almost this exact conversation a few verses ago and Jesus shared, “whoever wants to be first must take last place”. Yet, here we are again! Despite my frustration, as I reflect more on their debate and Jesus’ response, I realize how often Jesus hears me repeat the same questions and requests, or witnesses me succumb to similar pettiness. While it’s easy for me to read this and immediately jump to judgements about the blindness of others, a little more honesty allows me to see my own reflection in their narrow-mindedness. This is certainly not something that’s enjoyable to reflect upon, but thankfully the picture of Jesus’ abundant patience and forgiveness comes as both a relief and inspiration.
How about you? Are you feeling a little frustrated with the disciples and their blindness at this point, or are you feeling a little more connected to their depiction of humanity?
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Reading Tips . . .
Start by asking God to interact with you
Ask for a fresh perspective
Expect to be challenged in your assumptions
Try imagining yourself in the story
Slow down and pay attention to your feelings, thoughts and reactions
When something bothers you, talk to God about it
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