June 26

Text: Matthew 20:22, 23

But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They *said to Him, "We are able."  He *said to them, "My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father." (NASB)

“Do you understand what you are requesting?”  Or, “Do you have any idea of what you are getting into?” Or, “Do you grasp what you are saying?”  Or, “You have no idea what you are asking!”

James and John were certain they knew exactly what they asked and why they wanted it.  (Note that Jesus addressed the sons, not the mother.)  They were so focused on what they desired that they did not consider the responsibility and commitment involved.  Jesus understood their mistake.

They thought they could advise—perhaps even decide what was right if there was an emergency.  However, their request involved a level of surrender they had not yet made.

In our words, Jesus said, “You will surely share my experience—even if now you do not understand what that means.  However, your request involves something I cannot do.  Your position in the kingdom will be decided by God, not by me.”

“Your request involves something I cannot give.”  What an intriguing thought!  Jesus made a similar statement in Matthew 24:36 declaring limited knowledge of the return of “the Son.”  Only “the Father” knows that date.  There is no specific declaration that the resurrected Jesus acquired the knowledge he did not possess about these things as a result of becoming our Lord.

Sometimes our concepts concerning Jesus are more human assumptions than divine revelations.

Suggestion for reflection: Is it probable that you (we) make requests of God that focus on our desires in the ignorance of responsibilities and commitments?  (Read Matthew 25:31-34 and 1 Peter 1:20.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell