James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
I wonder what the relationship looked like between Jesus and his disciples? I love the way that they come to him here in a demanding fashion. It speaks to the close friendship that they must have had. Often we forget that these friends traveled the countryside spending all day and all night with each other. Like Moses these spoke face to face with God as a friend. It reminds me of how God invites us to come boldly to him asking anything in His name.
Even so there are some prayers that He will not answer because, like James and John, we do not really know what we are asking for. Although the disciples did not understand him, Jesus speaks to his dear friends of being baptized with a baptism of persecution and torturous death. He then says that, even though they endure that baptism, He cannot assure them preference in Heaven. It instructs me to the nature of God's sovereignty.
Teach me today Lord to come to you as an undeserving servant when I pray.