It has been estimated that Internet start-up companies try to squeeze ten years’ worth of growth in just three years. Imagine the gruelling amount of work and the sacrifices the entire team would have to perform to make the company a success.
Now imagine if, one day, one of the employees of such a company asked the founder to make him a key executive over everyone else. How do you think his co-workers would react? They had all worked hard! Why should this fellow get special treatment?
This scenario is a bit of a modern take on today’s Gospel reading, as James and John ask Jesus to guarantee them special seating when he comes into his kingdom. All the disciples had worked hard and followed Jesus faithfully, so why should these two be raised up above the others?
It seems that James and John missed three important points. First, they didn’t understand that Jesus was destined to be a heavenly king, not an earthly one. They missed that he wanted to build a kingdom focused on mercy and love, not power and domination.
Second, they didn’t realize that Jesus had come to die, not to reign. He had come, not to be served like royalty, but to serve his people, to the point of giving up his very life for them.
Finally, they missed the point that this isn’t a competition. Everyone who serves Jesus will be given a seat of honour in heaven!
Like the apostles, you, too, are part of Jesus’ team. So think about your role in his organization. How is he calling you to give your life in service to him and his kingdom?