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Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost

Pastor's Summary of Mark10:35-45

Earlier (in 9:33-34) the disciples hve argued about which of them is the greatest. Now two members of the inner circle ask a favor of Jesus: they seek positions of special dignity at the messianic banquet in heaven at the end of time (v. 37). Jesus answers: you do not know the implications of what you ask. In the Old Testament one's "cup" (v. 38) is one's lot assigned by God, be it blessing or condemnation. Here, Jesus is speaking of his suffering and death. To be baptised with Jesus' baptism is to share fully in God's ways. James and John confidently answer yes (v. 39) and accept all the consequences. Only the Father knows whom he has called to special places in the kingdom.

Jesus tells all the disciples: pagan authority depends on power and force (v. 42) but for disciples, it is different (v. 43): to be "great" now and in the kingdom ("become", v. 43 and "be", v. 44) one must serve others; to be "first", one must serve even more humbly, as a "slave". Jesus, the "Son of Man" (v. 45), in his voluntary abasement, is the example: he gave even his life for the freedom of others, gaining their release from punishment and death for their sins.