GOSPEL MEDITATION # 210
The Request of James and John
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- “Sons of Thunder” (see Luke 9:51-56), James the elder and John the younger brother, is the nickname Jesus gave them.
- Matthew (see Matthew 20:20-28) tells us that the mother of the young men approached Jesus with the request that one sit at the right and other at the left side of Jesus when he is the reigning King of glory. In an ‘oriental court’ these places were reserved for the chief power brokers.
- To harmonize the two accounts, either the boys or the mother was behind the request and my thought it was James and John, though we cannot be certain. In any event, it was a staggering move and unbecoming to the whole family. (James Zebedee would be the first Christian to die for his faith.)
- It does demonstrate that the Zebedee family had no doubts about who Jesus was. It would be only a matter of time before the kingdom would be established in Jerusalem, as they thought, and despite being warned now three times by Jesus personally that he would be killed, they must have ignored that information.
- The event provided Jesus a perfect opportunity to reveal the real meaning of being a follower of Jesus. As Jesus came to serve so they would servants as well.
- Jesus understood power, he was aware of Roman power of course and also of the power of his own religious rulers. The exercise of authority and power, this is the universal core to that which was sin.
- One more time Jesus reminds his followers that his chief service would be in his dying, the ransom, the supreme payment to the Father for our sinfulness.