“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him.
‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we want you to do for us whatever we ask.’”
Mark 10:35 (NIV)
“‘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.’” Mark 10:36-37 (NIV)
We know that the Bible is true because of verses like the ones in today’s devotional. If the writers were making up false information about Jesus—that they wanted to have people believe—they would never have portrayed themselves as foolish in some of the stories.
This story tells us that James and John were greedy for honor and power for themselves. They wished to have the best positions in the coming kingdom. This selfish request put to Jesus demonstrates the sinful ambitions of these men. If this story and all the others were not true would the writers ever have let their readers know they were full of pride? Never!
We must accept the fact that these men were very honest, even when telling the truth put them in a very unfavourable position. There are many other proofs of the honesty of the biblical writers but this one is among the best. These two disciples only demonstrated what most normal people exhibit at different times in life.
However, when you speak with someone who has chronic pain or some disease that robs them of normal abilities such as walking, or sight, you soon discover that these people are only wanting to be normal.
So we see that normal people want the extraordinary and suffering people would be very happy just to be normal. When we consider this, our sympathies go out to the ones who suffer but we have little patience with normal people who selfishly desire to be extraordinary.
The passion to be exceptional is childish and demonstrates an immature spirit. Children desire to have toy action figures so that they can dream of being heroes and rescuing people from villains of various sorts.
For those who suffer, I say, “Seek to be normal.” You do well to wish what others have. Various times Jesus was sought to cure the sick, heal the blind and so on. He never chastened anyone seeking to be normal. Instead He graciously granted the request.
To those who are normal, I say, “Be thankful you are normal. Do not seek to be extraordinary”. With exceptional opportunity comes exceptional responsibility. This is why we read in James 3:1 (NIV)
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers,
because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
It is enough that we be found faithful to the calling we have from the Lord.