The Request of James and John – Mark 10:35-45

What sort of unreasonable request do we sometimes make of God?

Bible Reading

Mark 10:35-45

35  Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”

36  And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

37  They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”

38  But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

39  They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;

40  “but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”

41  And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.

42  But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

43  “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.

44  “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.

45  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”



Food for Thought

1.   What issues do people often argue about?

2.   In what way does society pressure us to seek status and power?

3.   What would you like to become in this life?


Bible Study

4.   What was the relationship between James, John and Jesus? (10:35)

5.   What did James and John want from Jesus? (10:37)

6.   What did James and John’s request reflect about their character? (10:37)

7.   How did Jesus answer James and John’s request? (10:38-40)

8.   What were the “baptism” and “cup” of which Jesus spoke? (10:38-39)

9.   Who will grant the seats to Christ’s right and left hand in glory? (10:40)

10. How did the other disciples react to James and John’s request? (10:41)

11. What did Jesus warn all his disciples about? (10:42-43)

12. What value did Jesus place on serving? (10:42-45)

13. What value did Jesus place on status? (10:42-45)

14. How did Jesus advice the disciples regarding greatness? (10:43-44)

15. What did Jesus mean when he said he did not come to be served, but to serve? (10:45)


Kingdom Dynamics

16. Why was Jesus unwilling to do what James and John asked for?

17. Why were the other disciples angry at James and John?

18. What sort of unreasonable request do we sometimes make of God?

19. Why do we make unreasonable requests to God?

20. In what way does God protect us from our foolish requests?

21. How much are you prepared to suffer for the glory of the kingdom?

22. What happens when we vie for power and authority?

23. How does Jesus want us to handle power and authority?

24. What should a believer’s attitude be towards power and authority?

25. To what extent do Christians conform to the teachings of Jesus in this passage?

26. What power and authority do we have as believers?

27. How practically can we become a servant of others?

28. Should we strive to be great in the kingdom of God?

29. How should you respond to Jesus’ giving his life as a ransom for you?


Practical Christianity

30. What specific service could you do this week for someone else?

31.What steps can you take to guard yourself against an attitude of selfishness or greed?

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