Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of min are to sit, one at your right hand and on at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do know know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “you will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
As I thought on this passage recently, the question Jesus asked rolled over and over in my mind… “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” Granted… the thoughts I’m about to suggest are of different context than Jesus was speaking… but this is where I’ve been.
Lord… I want to be just like your son. “Are you able to drink the cup he drank?”
Lord… I want to love like your son Jesus did. “Are you able to drink the cup he drank?”
Lord… I want to be able to forgive like Jesus did. “Are you able to drink the cup he drank?”
Lord… I want to be humble like your son Jesus was. “Are you able to drink the cup he drank?”
Lord… I want to glorify you as your son did. “Are you able to drink the cup he drank?”
Every time I voiced a desire to be like Jesus in some way, the answer was the same… “Are you able to drink the cup he drank?” It was after a good period of time it came to me that God does not give those things to us as much as he teaches us those things. They aren’t granted to us so much as they are learned.
I’m of the opinion that too many believers want the gain without what it takes to get it. They want the ends without being willing to endure what it takes to get there. The cup may be the way God exposes who is genuine and fake. Consider Matthew 13:20-21…
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away…
I couldn’t help but wonder if when God begins the process that is required to be more like Christ (Tribulation, Persecution), they didn’t count on it being that hard… so they give up and quit. They aren’t willing to drink the cup that Christ drank. Again… I may be way off base here. It’s just something I’m thinking through and considering. Any thoughts?