“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. Mark 10:38-39
We could have no greater example or hero of a servant than Jesus Christ. Today’s passage shows us that Christ deliberately chose to become a servant. Servanthood came at a great cost to Jesus, and it comes at a cost to us too.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples about servanthood at the Last Supper, He didn’t try to convince them that it would be an easy ride. He got straight to the small print of the contract: the cost in the service of the kingdom. The task to be entrusted to them was tremendous. Jesus needed men and women of keen perspective and deep conviction. Disciples with both eyes wide open, hearts fully committed, and wills completely surrendered to Him; men and women who would follow Him to the death.
The Lord’s searching question was superficially answered, “We can”. Jesus told them that they would indeed drink the cup and experience the baptism. They must learn that for an influential spiritual ministry to bear fruit, there would be a steep price to pay — and that it cannot be acquired in one easy payment. In the end, it cost James his head, and John finished his days in exile doing hard labour on the island of Patmos. We may not suffer the way the disciples did, but as Christians, we should never be surprised when trials come our way.
The thought of suffering and servanthood are intertwined. In 1 Peter 2:21 we read, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.”
Take some time today to read through 1 Peter and consider the call to stand firm for Jesus even when it brings suffering to us. Spend some time in prayer, meditating on how willing you are to bear the sufferings of Christ wherever you happen to be.
Prayer: Lord, strengthen me that I might be able to endure eagerly and faithfully the difficulties that come with being a Christian. Thank you for Christian friends who encourage me to stand firm for Christ.