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Know God in a Year #171 “Can You Handle Honor?”

The disciples are still fighting over position, and the mother of James and John urges her sons to ask a favor of Jesus. She is a follower of his and has supported him financially. (Her sons were two of his first followers–probably cousins). John takes every opportunity to be next to Jesus, and James wants to be as close. So she accompanies them to ask for preferential treatment.
“What is it you want?” Jesus asks.
“That you give my sons the positions on your right and your left in your kingdom,” she requests.
He knows the love of these two is genuine, and rather than reprove their ambition, he will deepen their attachment, “Are you able to fill the positions on my right and my left in my baptism of suffering?” he asks.
They remember his mysterious words about suffering, but confidently assert, “We are.”
Spirit shows Jesus that one will be his first martyr, the other endure persecution the longest, and responds, “You will, indeed. But positions of honor aren’t mine to give, they are assigned by my Father.” Honors from God are given to those who drink most deeply of His love. Closest to Jesus in heaven will be those who fought the hardest battles with Satan, winning by soaking in Jesus’ presence.
When the other ten hear of this request, they are angry, supposing James and John are gaining an advantage.
Jesus gathers them again, praying they can hear him. It’s time to teach them the laws of his kingdom.
Matthew 20:20-25 ,  Mark 10:35-42
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