MATTHEW 20:22 - But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
We all want to move to the top; we want to lead the band. “All of us,” said Carl Sandberg, “want to play Hamlet.” We long for the lead role in the drama of life, so we can be someone and count for something. From birth, we are little bundles of ego, who learn to say “I” before just about anything else.
James and John, the biblical “sons of thunder,” wanted to be seated at Jesus’ right and left hands. They asked for places of honor, and they apparently weren’t too shy about doing so. But when they did, Jesus asked them a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said they were. “Then you’ll drink my cup,” He told them, “and receive my baptism. But the seating arrangement is not mine to determine.”
True greatness is not about getting a great seat for the show…it’s about following Jesus Christ to the limits of this life and beyond. It’s about drinking His cup of suffering, and being baptized into His death. Greatness comes through service. Living comes through surrendering life. James was the first apostle to be martyred for his faith. He followed Jesus all the way, tasting the cup of suffering, carrying the cross, and ultimately dying for his loyalty to Christ. Do you want to be great? Think carefully before you answer….