Can you drink the cup that I must drink?

The
brothers James and John have a request to make of Jesus. When he is
in glory – reigning as Messiah and King – they hope to sit in the
seats of honour on his right and his left. Their request shows how
completely Jesus’ disciples have failed to understand his teaching.
He has explained again and again that he is calling them to service
and to love of neighbour. Jesus wants his disciples to follow his
example of humility and suffering. Yet the disciples are still
thinking in terms of earthly glory and ambition – still falling
into rivalry and jealousy, even as Jesus prepares himself to face his
suffering and death.

James
and John did eventually embrace Jesus’ message. After his death and
resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they
became fearless witnesses and teachers of the Good News, and they
drank the same cup as the Master, giving their lives for Christ. The
Spirit will transform us, too, if we are ready to respond to Christ’s
call.

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