WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE ASCENT
21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: Daily Devotionals
Daily devotional readings and prayers to encourage you during these 21 days of prayer and fasting.
Text ASCENT21 to 97000 to opt in for a daily text reminder with a link to each day’s devotional.
As Jesus approaches Jerusalem with his disciples, he hears brothers James and John arguing over who will sit on either side of Jesus in his kingdom (Mark 10:35-41)… They’re more worried about their personal position, power and authority than they’re concerned about what is about to happen in Jerusalem (a mock trial and death on a Roman cross). It’s in this context that we come to Jesus’ words to them in verses 42-45 – and the theme of the book of Mark.
At least three times along the way to Jerusalem, Jesus shared with his disciples the plan. But even up until the last remaining moments of Jesus’ earthly life, the disciples still didn’t get it. They not only didn’t believe Him, but failed to see how Jesus’ death was part of God’s overall plan for the redemption of the world. Can you blame them?
Today, many people wear cross necklaces as a fashion statement. But for first-century Jews, the cross was the symbol of ultimate suffering. It’s striking that Jesus would use this vivid imagery in verse 34 to set criteria for following Him. Any marketing expert on gathering followers might have advised Him differently! While we might be happy to wear the necklace, none of us like the idea of denying ourselves and carrying an instrument of torture to our death.
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