Monday: Psalm 119.1-88, Numbers 17-18, Mark 10

from John ZuHone

In Mark 10, Jesus predicts his death for the third time. No parables. No mysterious language. Just a pretty straightforward narration of what's going to happen. None of it sounds good, except maybe the last part about rising again, but I'm sure the disciples didn't understand that either. Resurrection of the dead was a category for them, but everyone knew that was supposed to happen on the last day. To them, Jesus was making no sense. That wasn't new, so they may have just chalked it up to that. 

Right after this, James and John, who certainly heard Jesus say all this, have the gall to ask to sit at his left and right hand "in your glory." In their minds, Jesus is going to become the tough guy and soon lay waste to their Roman oppressors. He'll sit on a throne, judging the nations, and they want to be in on it.

Jesus is incredulous. Verse 38: "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?"  In other words, "Were you not listening to me when I just said how this was going to go down?"

 The disciples actually are not that far off--Jesus is going to sit on a throne one day. But he's already told them how he's going to get there, and it's right through the worst that sin and evil can throw at him. Because they are the real enemies to be defeated.

And the good news of Easter is that not only has Jesus done just that, but he has given to us freely the fruits of his labor in baptism (Romans 6) and the cup (Mark 14:22-25). This Easter, as we remember our baptism into Christ and we share in the bread and the cup, let's rejoice in all that he has done for us. 

John is doubly happy because Easter is his favorite time of year, and William is turning 2 this week. Happy birthday, William!