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First, let’s take a look at the background of this passage. There’s a conversation between Jesus and his disciples which follows from verse 23, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
In the end of this conversation at verse 28, Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” Jesus accepted these disciples as who they were and said in verse 29 and 30, “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age.” Even though the disciples seem to have nothing, they are actually spending wonderful time with the Savior. I believe even if we lose our job or family for the sake of the Gospel, there is nothing more valuable and more precious than spending time with our Savior Jesus. Hundredfold is not probably a literal number, but it means rather valuable time, amazing grace and abundant blessings. I also want you to taste and see the following words of Jesus. “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. “ Jesus promised eternal life to his disciples who were about to be persecuted. His disciples were proud of themselves in comparison with others, yet Jesus treated them with love. As you may have already noticed, the disciples said they have abandoned everything and followed Jesus, with a kind of self-satisfaction. Jesus said to them, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:31)
Now, the disciples were living in a comparison with others, James and John came to Jesus and asked in verse 37, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” This request seems to be very selfish. Jesus replies, “You don’t know what you are asking, Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” (V38) “the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with” indicates the suffering and death on the cross that Jesus was about to face. They answered “we can.” They seemed not to understand the meaning of it at this point, but later James died of martyrdom, and John was deported to an island and he wrote the book of revelation. Their journey is really interesting. Other disciples got angry when they heard them asking Jesus such a request. The argument of who is the greatest among them has been dominating their hearts and concerns. But Jesus gave them a challenge in verse 42-44, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. I am surprised how kindly Jesus responds to his disciples. The message of Jesus is really simple. It is a promise that God will elevate those who can humble themselves and who can serve others as servants. Again, I think the words of Jesus, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first” resonated in the hearts of the disciples.
What about you guys? Let us be the Christians that Jesus wants us to be. Let’s stay in the grace that Jesus gives us every day and let go of our pride every day. And let’s choose a life that loves family and friends and serves people around us. I believe that being transformed more like Jesus is the purpose of our Christian lives.