The Cup Bearer Part 2of2, Pastor Phil Sessa

Mark 10:38 –40, “38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”

Have you ever asked a question to someone, but because of your lack of maturity and understanding, you came to receive an answer which exhibited, you really did not think through the whole question itself? Children are famous for this kind of questions. Picture a child asking his mother (who is not pregnant) “mom I want you to have a child now, so to have someone to play catch with.” The child doesn’t really know what he or she is asking. In Mark 10 we read that James and John make a request to Jesus to sit on his right and left hand in Jesus’ Kingdom. John MacArthur shares, “Matthew reveals that their mother accompanied them and spoke first (Matt. 20:20, 21), after which James and John reiterated her request. If she was Jesus’ aunt, the 3 undoubtedly hoped to capitalize on the family ties.” Jesus replies, “You know NOT what you ask: Are you ABLE to drink THE CUP that I DRINK…?

Why would Jesus reply that they did not know what they were asking? What was the cup that Jesus said that He drinks? Jesus would drink the cup of sin-bearing death. The Expositor’s Bible commentary shares, “Jesus’ answer is sharp and penetrating. The two disciples did not really know what they were asking. The way to privileged position in the Messianic kingdom is not by grabbing for power but by relinquishing it through suffering and death. Jesus explains this to them by using the analogies of the cup and baptism. The cup, symbolizing trouble and suffering, is found in the OT. “In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs”, (Psalm 75:8). Rise up, O Jerusalem, you have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger”, (Isaiah 51:17; cf. also Mark 14:36; Jeremiah 49:12; Ezekiel 23:31-34).”

Not understanding Jesus, they said to Him “We are able.” Jesus responds, ““You will indeed drink the cup that I drink…” If Jesus was the ultimate cup bearer then what cup would His disciples drink? In a sense they can and will drink from his cup of suffering. James would become the first apostolic martyr (Acts 12:2); and John would suffer exile on the Isle of Patmos, A.D. 63 (Revelation 1:9). Jesus is the ultimate cup bearer of course. However, He is calling those that are His to be willing to lay down their lives for Him. Laying down ones’ life is a daily process. If one cannot give Christ their time, talents, and treasures, how can one give one’s life for Him? In closing the words of a song by Christafari, “He died for me, so I live for Him, he gave His life, for me, so I can give mine to Him, He became like me, so I can become like Him.” How are you drinking the cup today? You may desire the cup be taken away, even as Jesus prayed, “…take this cup from me,” however will you pray like Jesus, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” Realize as you pray “Thy will be done”, you must also pray, my will be gone. Do His will and see, God will never let you down. Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil

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