But Jesus said to them, …‘Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ Mark 10:35-45
How many times had Jesus and the disciples sat down at a meal together feeding invited and uninvited guests? How many times had Jesus walked away from crowds trying to kill him? How many times had Jesus quieted the arrogance of the Jewish leaders simply by using the Mosaic Law as his defense? If the “cup” was only full of these kinds of experiences, we’d all be able to drink of that cup. But we know that the cup isn’t always so full. Sometimes it’s half full and other times it’s down right out empty! When James and John answered that they were in fact able to drink of that cup, my guess is they had absolutely no idea of what Jesus was referring. I think Jesus knew as well that they didn’t really know, but I believe what he heard in their answer was that they were not only able but willing. Even in hindsight of the reality of the disciples request, Jesus’ confirmation of their willingness, is a confirmation to all of us today who are yet still willing (even as we sometimes fail), to drink of that same cup. The life to come may not be about prominence. But the good news is that when God calls us in this life, through Christ we are already able, and our willingness to drink is what moves us towards that spiritual reward.
Mark 10:35-45 They replied, ‘We are able.’ So Jesus called them and said to them, …whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honour them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation.