Talking to Jesus: Drink

“Jesus said to them, ‘You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.’ ” (Mark 10:39-40)

James and John didn’t know what they were asking when they came to Jesus looking for a promise of power and glory in His kingdom. And they didn’t know what He was asking when He turned the question around on them: “Can you drink the cup I drink?”

ttj_350They answered quickly: “We can,” not getting that Jesus’ kingdom would follow after Jesus’ suffering and death. His cup was full of pain. Emotional, spiritual, physical pain. His cup was full of death. Just as He said they would, both men drank His cup — not as punishment for their ignorant, selfish prayer but because they willingly followed His path, telling the world His great good news.

James drank first, executed by the king with a sword to keep the Jewish religious leaders happy. (See Acts 12:1-2.) John drank last, living and suffering longer. And in that way, God did answer their desire to share in Jesus’ glory forever, even if He couldn’t promise them the best two seats in His eternal house.

Think: Nobody really wants to suffer, but lots of people want to find something bigger than themselves worth suffering for. Do you think following Jesus’ path is something worth suffering for? Why would anyone have to suffer for following Jesus?

Pray: Ask God to help you to see the power and purpose and joy in following Jesus’ path even if you find pain along the way.

Do: Take a few minutes to look up (or ask someone who might know) how the rest of the 12 disciples suffered for Jesus while telling His good news to the world.