"And they said to Him, Give to us to sit on your right hand and your left in your glory." (Mark 10:37)
"I've got shot gun! Dibs. I've got dibs!" Such claims are reflected in James and John who called out for 'dibs' at Jesus' side when Jesus comes into His glory. The other disciples were not happy! More simply put, the disciples were angry that they James and John were asking for what they also would like to be given. They should have thought of calling the spots first and now they were annoyed that they missed out on the chance. Sounds fairly typical of living today, people wanting to be special in the eyes of others.
Jesus did not agree with such thinking and He surely didn't live that kind of life. He wasn't impressed with the disciples at all. Jostling for position and pushing yourself forward isn't how He lives. The way of James and John is typical of the unbelieving world who are dead in trespasses and sins.
How foreign this is to Jesus's lifestyle. He would be termed as old fashioned, and irrelevant. Yet He is in this sinful world! He will put Himself last as He moves steadily to Calvary. It's necessary for Him to be handed into the hands of sinful men, to suffer, and to be crucified for the unbelieving world, for you, and even me. This is part of our Lenten focus as we look to God's grace in Christ and seek to live with less focus on our own needs, and to shift our focus to the needs of others. Humble living is looking to the needs of others before focusing on our own needs. Agape love is the love which loves and gives for others without centering our actions in what we might get out of it.
James and John wanted what Jesus said was not for Him to grant. In fact, as it turns out, a thief was on His right and another thief was on His left when He came into His glory on Good Friday.
This is the glory and majesty of God: Jesus Christ who came to be crucified to deliver all men to Himself and reconciled them to His heavenly Father. Jesus came into His glory when He paid the price for the sins of the world (our ransom). He endured the mocking, spitting, flogging and even dying. Jesus proclaimed and showed the glory of God as He hung dead on the cross for your sins.
He rose again, and all the Baptized rose with Him for all time. No more seeking the best for self, but seeking to be a blessing to others. The first is the last. The last is first. You can let others go before you in this life out the door, in the front seat, in the line. All the pushing and shoving to be first, all the besting of one over another dies in Christ and is buried. The first dies for the last, the living for the dead. And in this Lenten Season, Christians continue to repent of selfish attitudes and seek to serve more like Christ smack dab in the middle of sinners, to redeem each of us in the joy and mercy of the Father.
Rise to new life. Live in the peace Christ gives as you know His love and share it with those around you. Because Jesus is for you, you are enabled to look out for the needs of others.
Lenten blessings in your Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.