Unlimited: Asking Without Understanding
Feb 11, 2021 1453
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 (Mark10:35–38, NIV).
They were on their way to Jerusalem. Everyone knew why. Jerusalem was where the Messiah was to be crowned king!
Now was the time for the disciples to jockey for position, to make their power plays!
Although the Twelve couldn’t make heads or tails out of what Jesus was saying about being killed in Jerusalem and rising again after three days, there is one thing that they do understand: selfishness and power.
James and John approached Jesus and treated him like Aladdin’s magic lamp. “Give us one wish,” they say, “whatever we ask!”
That’s a bold thing to do. They wouldn’t have done it if they weren’t getting close to Jerusalem and they thought they were running out of time.
Jesus didn’t rebuke them for their rudeness. Instead, he indulged them in kindness, and he asked them what their wish is.
And now it comes out! James and John asked that they be appointed as Jesus’ two most senior ministers in his new kingdom, where they would get all the perks of wealth and power.
You see, the disciples hadn’t listened to what Jesus had tried to teach them earlier about being the greatest in the kingdom.
So, Jesus replies to them, “You have no idea what you are asking for!”
Jesus is no genie-in-a-bottle. You can’t just rub the religious lamp and ask Jesus to grant you whatever you wish for. It doesn’t work that way.
The reason you can’t do that is because God is our loving Father and we are his very small little children. He who knows the end from the beginning knows what we really need even when we don’t. And he knows how to work in every situation so that good will triumph in the end.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Think about an unanswered prayer of yours. Could the reason be that you didn’t know what you were asking? Be comforted that God’s character never changes, and He is still working all things together for His glory and your good, even the painful parts.