James and John come to Jesus and ask that they may sit, one at his right and the other at his left, when he comes into his kingdom. Jesus explains that sitting at his right or his left is not his to grant; that os for the Father. Fair enough, we think. Then, as we read on, we realize what this means. For Mark, Jesus becomes King when he is crucified, publically placarded as 'King of the Jews'. And on his right and left there hand two brigands, two insurrectionists. No wonder Jesus told James and John they didn't know what they were asking for. . . And when the chief priests handed Jesus over to the Romans, James and John were nowhere to be seen. They had run away, lest perhaps they should after all find themselves sitting on Jesus' right and left as he came into his kingdom.
It reminded me a bit of the NOOMA video, Kickball. Rob Bell, as usual, points out the obvious, in a way that reminds us how often we try to look past it: the reason that God so many times tells us 'no' in the face of our hopes and desires, is that we, quite simply, don't see the big picture like He does; we don't know what we're asking for.
Just thought it was neat...
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