The narrative of Mark 10:35-45 exemplifies the intent behind the question. James and John corner Jesus with this question, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Can you imagine this scene? Christ has just predicted his death, only to have these two brothers corner him with this audacious question. You can feel the other disciples cringe. Perhaps, because they did not think of the question first.
At first glance, this question sounds so out of place. Then again have we taken the time to listen to our requests of Jesus? Our deep seeded ambitions for fame, influence, recognition, and accomplishment may not sound as far from the inquiry of James and John.
James Edwards in his commentary, The Gospel According to Mark, responds to this passage by saying, “The Kingdom of God topples our cherished priorities and demands of disciples new ones.”
The Gospel moves from self-centered ambition to redeemed ambition. God’s grace takes from building our own sand castles to entering the work of His eternal kingdom. Jesus exemplified an ambition which sought to serve others rather than to have power over them (Mark 10:45).
As we reflect on our own ambitions, have we listened to the questions we are asking of Christ? Do they imitate Him by serving others and glorifying God?