The First 15

Tuesday January 12, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today.

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.
Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN.

*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.

Scripture Reading

Mark 10:35-45

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


How could James and John have been so *out of step* with Jesus?

In Mark 10:32-34, Jesus predicts that he will die in Jerusalem. In verse 35, James and John say, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

We are understandably shocked at their ignorance, and yet, the gospels remind us that this is not an isolated incident. We are often surprised by the disciples’ lack of understanding. We wonder, “how could they have so dramatically misunderstood Jesus?”

But these moments also lead us to wonder how we do the same. And when grace gives birth to humility, we begin to ask the more important questions.

Jesus, how have I missed what you have been doing in my life?

In what way may I still be misunderstanding your work in me and through me today?

When you are finished with your time of reflection and before you close in prayer, spend a few moments committing the word of Ephesians 4:32 to memory.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Closing Prayer

Loving God, thank you for your gift of grace made available to me through the work of Jesus Christ. I pray for the power of your grace to be unleashed in my life that it may soften my heart. May the grace received in my life be expressed through my life in everything I do and say this day. AMEN.

The First 15

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