Questions for Personal Reflection and Discussion
Read Mark 10:35-45:
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”
37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
39 And they said to him, “We are able.”
And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)
- We humans have a tendency to compare ourselves with others and to want more than other people have. Share an example of this that you’ve experienced or observed.
- James and John asked Jesus to do for them “whatever they asked,” which seems like a very disrespectful thing to do to their Lord and Rabbi. What do you notice about Jesus’s attitude and response to them?
- Why do you think Jesus asked James and John what they wanted him to do for them?
- Jesus came to give humans a new understanding of what it means to have power, glory, and honor in God’s Kingdom. What was Jesus’s new paradigm?
- How did Jesus Himself live out this teaching about God’s idea of power, glory and honor? How is this an example to us?
- God’s way often involves a stronger person making “sacrificial exchanges” – disadvantaging themselves in order to help and serve others who are without power. One example of that is parenting young children. What are some “sacrificial exchanges” that parents make for their children? Have you observed this dynamic in other spheres of life? If so, talk about that.
- Jesus’s idea of how to change culture and society wasn’t to use “power over” but rather “power under.” Explain what is meant by this statement. How is the cause of Christ damaged when Christ-followers forget this?
- What did you sense God saying to you through this message?