Ignorant in the Asking

October 10, 2021

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" (Matthew 20:22).

I was 6 years old when I first believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Needless to say there were many things about the Christian faith I did not know. Sixty years have passed and, while I have grown tremendously in my understanding of spiritual things, there is so much more to be understood. I pray my understanding of the Christian life will continue to expand until the day I am called home.

When Salome asked Jesus to have her sons, James and John, sit in positions of honor and authority in His Kingdom, her thoughts were not on spiritual things. None of them had grasped Jesus’ teaching on who He really was, what His mission was, and the truth concerning the Kingdom He represented here on earth. They were ignorant of the fact to be great in the Kingdom of God meant to be rejected in the kingdom of man. That’s why Jesus responded You do not know what you ask.

Jesus told the disciples earlier (John 15:18-20) If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus said to the crowd that gathered on the hillside one day, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).

These words were not intended to scare people off from following Jesus. They were intended to prepare people to become followers of Jesus. A Scribe came to Jesus and said, Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go. And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:19-20).

All who share in Christ’s Kingdom must first share in Christ’s sufferings (Philippians 3:7-11). Contrary to modern American Christianity, being a follower of Jesus Christ is not about you or me, it’s all about Jesus. Far too many are not willing to make the sacrifice of dying to self.

“Lord Jesus, the call to discipleship is the call to personal sacrifice that often leads to suffering in this life. Continue to prepare me for what lay ahead in serving You in this increasingly godless generation. To Your honor and glory I ask. Amen.”


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