Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next.
"Listen to me carefully. We're on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans,
who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive."
James and John, Zebedee's sons, came up to him. "Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us."
"What is it? I'll see what I can do."
"Arrange it," they said, "so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory - one of us at your right, the other at your left."
Jesus said, "You have no idea what you're asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I'm about to be plunged into?"
"Sure," they said. "Why not?"
But as to awarding places of honor, that's not my business. There are other arrangements for that."
When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John.
Jesus got them together to settle things down. "You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around," he said, "and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads.
It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.
Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.
That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served - and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)