The Gospel of Mark has this way of showing the disciples to be a group that just doesn’t get the point of Jesus’ teaching. The reading for this morning doesn’t change that perspective. Several weeks have gone by and we are still looking at power to be grasped while it is there for the taking. James and John have met with Jesus for the purpose of beating the others to sitting beside him in the kingdom. Needless to say the other disciples were angry when the news got out. After all, James and John had beaten them to the opportunity. Jesus presented a new and renewed and retold teaching of power based on his example of going to the cross for us all.
As we near another round of elections the goal seems to be who wins and who loses. What party will have control of the House or of the Senate. Nothing is being offered that will draw us together as a nation for the common good. Rather we are being torn apart for the gain of power. It is called ‘Public Service’ but who really is being served?
Jesus teaches that to be important in the kingdom of God is not achieved by chasing after power. Instead to be important in the kingdom of God is to be a servant first and foremost. Are we willing to be baptized into the baptism Jesus underwent? Are we willing to drink the cup? Are we willing to follow his example and be servants for others?
The prosperity gospel is very popular these days which looks to Jesus as the giver of wealth and power in society. We really are just like James and John. We really are just like the disciples.
The questions from Jesus are for us today. Are we willing to be baptized into the baptism Jesus underwent? Are we willing to drink the cup? Are we willing to follow his example and be servants for others?