Upside-down world

Mark 10:46-52

This portion of the narrative is a continuation and expansion of what has just preceded. The other ten disciples are jealous, are angry with James and John because they have pushed Jesus—successfully—to give them a preeminent share in his destiny. Jesus has not criticized or dismissed their insistent demand but has lovingly transformed it from a desire for glory into a willingness to suffer. Still, why should some of the disciples be granted privileges over the rest? Why won’t they all share to the same extent in Jesus’ fate (“cup”) and special vocation (“baptism”)? If all are equally brothers and sisters in Christ, why are some Christians apparently more equal than others? Once again Jesus’ words indicate a reversal of values and norms. If “glory” is now about suffering rather than reigning, “ruling” means serving, not lording. The most prestigious person in the messianic kingdom is the one who is not above all but below all—the slave of all, to put it scandalously.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.