It got off with a bad start. In the gospel of Mark chapter 10, we read of two of Christ’s disciples, who approached Him saying, “Teacher, we want You to do whatever we ask.” ARE YOU KIDDING??? Let’s see if I got that right. “WE want YOU to do WHATEVER WE ask…” Are you kidding?? Did you really say to Jesus, “WE want YOU to do WHATEVER we ask”??
After that bad start, it went downhill. What they wanted was not the right thing to ask Jesus, especially right after He announced His death and resurrection for the third time. They wanted to sit, one at Jesus’ right hand and the other at His left hand, in His glory. Obviously, the other 10 disciples were miffed with James and John’s preposterous, petition. The gospels don’t record that they said “Are you kidding?”, but they may have thought it. Who knows how big the rift might have become between them if Jesus had granted them their selfish desire?
Thankfully, James and John didn’t get what they wanted, but they got what they needed. They wanted Jesus to do whatever they asked Him to; they wanted to be right up there on the same level with Him. But Jesus gave them something much better: a lesson on true greatness. They needed that!
Unfortunately, we pray “Are you kidding?” prayers, too. Like James and John, our own selfishness blinds us to our real needs. We may not be praying to be the greatest in God’s kingdom, but we sure want our way sometimes! It is comforting to know that this same Jesus (who never changes, by the way) is interceding for us right now! He is our High Priest who “always lives to make intercession for us” (Hebrews 7:25). Thankfully, he doesn’t always give us what we want, but He ALWAYS gives us the best…exactly what we need!