Matt Parra – “You do not know what you ask”

Matt delivered two messages at AYC, both of which cut me deeply, I had never heard him preach before, but I will surely be hearing him again.

The text the sermon is based on is one I have never really paid that much attention to, but just like many other places in scripture, the parts you gloss over are usually the parts that are particularly relevant and powerful.

He started by asking for a show of hands, who would like to be in glory, having the power of God in their life? obviously many hands went up, we were indeed in good company as James and John had wanted the same thing…

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
37 They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
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.” (Mark 10:35-40)

Clearly there was more to His “Glory” than they understood at that time, we discover later in John 17:1 that just before going through Gethsemane and onto the cross, Jesus prayed that the Father would ‘Glorify’ Him, so that He might glorify the Father
, the glory of Christ was embodied in that act of ultimate love in dying for a sin-sick world on a Roman cross.

In Luke 23:32 we finally see who James and John wanted to take the place of…

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.

One on the left and one on the right… can you see the pattern here? can you see why Jesus said “You do not know what you ask” ? they were still expecting power and glory, not the ignominious yet atoning death of the Christ!

Here is the statement that should challenge us all, we must want his character not just his glory, because what James and John wanted was the same thing satan has wanted for all these years, the Power of God without the Character of God.

We need to be ever vigilant to guard our motivation, are we animated by the desire for glory? the desire for power? or the desire to reproduce the character of Christ in our own souls, humbling ourselves in his service, seeking the salvation of his lost children?

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