20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons,
kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit,
one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask.
Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink,
and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.”
The two men were so eager to be glorified and identified with the Lord, that they weren't clear in seeing the requirements - suffering first, then glory.
We like to criticize this doting mother and her overzealous sons, but we need to stop for a moment and think. It is GOOD that she wanted her sons in the Lord's kingdom. It was good that the doting sons wanted to be identified with the Lord. They just didn't understand the spiritual picture that was being played out before them.
The glory of the Christian life wasn't to be honored for being identified with the Lord, but the glory of the Christian life is suffering with Him, then being glorified with Him.
They just didn't get it.
Are we any different?
Do we say we want to be close to the Lord?
Do we pray that we would be transformed into the Lord's image?
Do we long for answers to prayer?
Do we ask the Lord to use us in the lives of others?
Do we share our spiritual desires to be like the Lord with others?
Do we shrivel up when suffering comes our way in physical, financial, emotional and spiritual ways?
We are honest, we are sincere, we are full of spiritual desire, but sometimes we can be as blind as the family recorded in the book of Matthew.
We don't really understand what we are asking. The greatest work in the Christian's life isn't the pedestal they are put on for their spiritual gifts and accomplishments. This "sitting on the right hand of the Lord" can hinder the Christian life, it isn't what changes a Christian.
All of these spiritual desires are only accomplished in the same manner they were accomplished in the Lord Jesus - through suffering.
The Lord assured these brothers their wish would actually be granted, in His way, not theirs.
23 "So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup,
and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with..."
We, too, will drink of that cup, the cup of suffering.
Suffering will draw us closer to the Lord.
Suffering will transform us into the glorious image of the Suffering Savior.
Suffering will bring about answers to prayer.
Suffering will help us to minister to others who suffer.
Yes, drink up.
Because if we want to be glorified with Him, we must suffer with Him.