As long as following Jesus meant the possibility of fame, power, and fortune the disciples were willing and able. In Mark 10:37, the disciples James and John asked, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” Jesus asked them, “Are you able to drink the cup [bitter cup of sufferingNIV] that I drink and be baptized with the baptism [of sufferingNIV] that I am baptized with? They said to Him, ‘We are able’” (10:38–-39).
A few minutes later, the other disciples caught on that these two were trying to get the best and most powerful positions in Christ’s kingdom. They were mad with jealousy. Evidently, they too were following Jesus for their own personal benefit. However, Jesus was not going to a glorious earthly kingdom, but to a cross . . . and they were to follow Him there.
Jesus taught how He thought and lived: “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Jn 12:25). Jesus did not cling to His life in glory; He let it go to be sent to earth to suffer and die for the redemption of others. After the resurrection, Jesus told His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (20:21).
This is not an option or just for a select few followers. It is for every believer who wishes to be a follower of Christ. He died to fulfill the mission of redemption for us, and now He expects us to likewise live for the redemption message until every person has heard.
How does a person serve Christ? In a negative sense, it is evident that Jesus directly perceived anything done to the believers as being done to Him. He said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4), but Saul had never even seen Jesus. Persecuting believers was the same as persecuting Jesus.
Positively, Jesus taught, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt 25:40). We serve Jesus by serving His followers and completing His world mission.
Will it be worth it? Jesus said, “The Father will honor him.” The thrill of God in eternity will be to honor all who voluntarily gave up their lives to follow Christ in reaching and serving others for His honor and glory. Would you prefer earthly honor or the Father’s honor? It is your choice. Follow your dreams or dream to follow your King.
“Lord, I want to live for the honor You promised Your servants and cease seeking the honor from others.”