Jesus was going up to Jerusalem (158). Along the way, he took his twelve chosen witnesses away from the crowds & spoke to them privately.
“When we go up to Jerusalem, I’ll be arrested by the chief priests & the teachers of the law, who will arrange for me to be condemned to death. After the Roman soldiers have made fun of me & tortured me, I’ll be executed by crucifixion. But three days later I will rise from the grave & live again.”
The chosen witnesses didn’t really understand what Jesus meant, and they were a little afraid to understand, so they didn’t ask him to explain.
But then the wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her two sons, James & John. She bowed before Jesus & asked him for a favor: “Promise me that my sons will sit on your right & on your left when you are king.” “You don’t really understand what you’re asking,” Jesus said to her.
Then he asked James & John, “Do you believe that you can drink the cup of suffering that I am about to drink?” “Yes, we can,” they answered. “And so you will,” Jesus told them.
“But I don’t have the right to choose who will sit by my side. God has already prepared those who will sit on my right & on my left.”
Hearing all this, the other ten chosen witnesses became angry with James & John. So Jesus called all twelve together and said, “You know that worldly leaders exercise power & authority over the people under them. But this is not the way I intend for you to lead people to God.
“If you want to lead people to God you must be their servant, just as I have been. I didn’t come to be served. I came to serve — even to sacrifice my life — in order to rescue many people from themselves.”
(158) Matthew 20:17-28, Mark 10:32-45, Luke 18:31-34