We are in the middle of the fourth week of Lent and today we are continuing in Mark chapter 10. Jesus has set his face toward Jerusalem, and he tells his friends a third time what is waiting for him there. But they still don't understand: James and John think that he will become a king in Jerusalem, and will have special places of honor for the friends who have been following him.
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and the people who are following him there are amazed and afraid. I wonder what they hoped would happen when they got there? I wonder what they feared?
Jerusalem was the city where the Roman soldiers had their headquarters; it was also the city where King Herod ruled. I wonder if Jesus's followers were hoping he would overthrow them all and become the king?
I wonder what it was like to hear Jesus say, "No. When I go to Jerusalem, the Roman soldiers will arrest me, and I will be killed?"
It sounds like the disciples had trouble believing Jesus was really serious. I wonder why this picture of God's chosen king was so hard for them to understand?
Jesus tells James and John they do not know what they are asking for, when they ask to sit next to him in glory. When Jesus does finally sit in glory, up on the cross, there are thieves at his right and left. What do I want to say to God about this picture of a king on a throne, and this picture of glory?
Jesus seems to have a very different idea about how to be important in God's kingdom. His ideas are not like our ideas of kings, rulers and important people. Can I talk with God about how I can follow Jesus and his ways today?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now, or carry with me into the rest of my day?
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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