Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him.
“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“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.”
Wow, James and John.
We can’t believe you asked that of Jesus.
Trying to snag the prime power real estate of “glory”… (before we had a chance to!)
James and John know they can’t sit in the driver’s seat,
so instead they call “shotgun” and “dibs” to secure the next best spots.
Sure. To a certain extent, we get it. We can relate to it.
‘Cause, absolutely we want the gold star, we want the reward, we want to know that it’s been worth it, that all of our efforts have made a difference.
We’ve worked hard and sacrificed.
After all is said and done, what is the glory of it all?
The timing of their request is interesting in that, right before this for the third time,
Jesus has said that He will be arrested, beaten, killed, and on the third day rise from the dead.
We can only assume that James and John and the rest of the disciples are not
understanding, because Jesus keeps explaining what discipleship looks like:
denying self, taking up one’s cross, following, losing your life,
being last not first, and now, being a servant.
Either they don’t understand or every time Jesus starts talking about things they
don’t want to hear, they stop listening.
For those of us with ears to hear, let us hear, because
if we’re honest with ourselves, we get that too. We can relate to that.
Jesus knew His disciples would have positions of leadership as the gospel spread,
and others would view them as having power in that leadership.
He wanted His disciples to know that those positions of power were not the goal.
The love of God through Christ was their goal.
Not only telling others about that love, but living that love, modeling that love.
Living out the glory of Christ Who came not to be served, but to serve.
Jesus redefines glory as being found in service, self-denial, and sacrifice.
Jesus redefines glory with His words, His life, His death, and His resurrection.
…whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and give His life as a ransom for many.
Over and over again, Jesus models the new definition of glory as He crosses the world’s “acceptable” boundaries into “unacceptable” places and lives-welcoming, calling, healing, loving, teaching, feeding, forgiving, and dying for those who can bring nothing to Jesus except the fact that Jesus has come to them-ourselves included.
Like James and John and all Christ followers before us, we are called to be glorious.
We are called to be…like the moon.
The moon has no light of its own.
It is a cold dark rock, which shines only because it reflects the light of the sun.
There is no need for the calling of “shotgun” or “dibs” to find ourselves glorious.
Reflecting the light of God’s Son is our glory.
We need only fix our eyes and our lives on Jesus and reflect the glory we are graced to behold.
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
In this season of pastor appreciation, and more importantly, for this past 18 months of
“Lord have mercy!”, thank you for your glory shine.
Thank you for your faithful wilderness walks, for your trust in the midst of the unknown,
for your taking the next step after a painful previous step, for allowing the glory of God’s strength to reside in your places of weakness, for reflecting glory light in the darkness so that others could find the next step in their glorious journey.
Thank you for your glory shine, not in perfection, but in perseverance.
Thank you for being glorious.
With great gratitude for the light of you,
If you would like to view past editions of Grace for the Journey, follow this link: https://fairwaydistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/