James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” (Mark 10:35 – 36)

I am not convinced that James and John would have made a request of Jesus using this phrasing – it is a little audacious. But they were feeling full of themselves; and did not have a firm grasp of the Person-hood they were making this request of.

“And he said to them, “What is it 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.” (Verse 37)

Or, based on the writer of the gospel of Mark, they did know who they were addressing. But did not know what qualifications were needed to fill their request.

“But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then 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.” (Verses 38 – 40)

Let us break away just for a moment, beloved reader, and think about who the honored seats at Jesus’ right and left are reserved for. Think about what testing and turmoil one would have to go through in order to have the right to such an honor. Think about all of the spiritual fathers and mothers that you know of, and then expand that to ones you may not know about. Think about all the people who have been sent out in the Divine’s name, and all they have suffered – up to and including death. Imagine the suffering that they underwent. The discipline they must have heard in their lives, and the spiritual practices that they learned and completed every day. Now, let us read on.

“When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Verses 41 – 45)

So, let us take that list of “flawless” people, and consider it some more. Were they servants? Did they put themselves last and take no credit for what they accomplished in life? Did they grab for leadership roles, and place themselves as the forerunners of every and any venture in Christianity? In other words, turn that list upside down and discern who was the least famous and well-known.

I have to wonder, beloved reader, why would someone want to sit at the left hand or right hand of Jesus the Divine? Because I tell you, beloved reader, Jesus is not seated on some high-above-everyone-else throne that is ermine-silk-cushy-holstered. No, the Divine is down in the trenches with “the least of these” ministering to them. Is that where you want to end up? Shalom & Selah!