- Even though Jesus has repeatedly told his disciples that he will suffer and die in Jerusalem, James and John believe that Jesus will now become the new king in Jerusalem and re-establish Israel as a secular nation, thus asking to be given prominent positions in Jesus’ new government.
- The “cup” that Jesus would drink was God’s wrath for the sins of all people that Jesus voluntarily took upon himself on the cross. To be “baptized” means to be immersed and completely surrounded by water. What Jesus means is that the cup he will drink will completely envelop him and immerse him in suffering.
- The suffering that Jesus went through was so totally overwhelming that he prayed to his Father, “Take this cup from me. But not as I will, but as you will.” (Mark 14:36b).
- Both of these apostles were called to honour God with a very special calling:
- James was the first apostle to die and thus had to go before the others and show them how to die for their faith (Acts 12:1-2).
- John was the last apostle to die and thus had to show how to live a long and faithful life for Jesus.
- A Christian’s success is not measured by how many servants he has, but by how many he serves.
- Jesus, who is undeniably the Lord of all Christians, showed by his own life that he was not after worldly success. Jesus built no worldly palace, acquired no worldly wealth and forced no one into submission.