In our Gospel for Sunday, Mark 10:35-45, we read of the request of James and John to Jesus. This passage parallels one from Mark 9:33-37 and both deal with the subject of true greatness and both follow a prediction of Jesus' suffering and death. Clearly these disciples have not been listening during the last weeks of their journey with Jesus. Jesus settles the dispute of who's the greatest by gathering the 12 around him and saying, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and
the servant of all." In Mark 10, Jesus replies to James and John's request by saying, "You don't know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with baptism I am baptized with?" They reply, "we can." When the rest of the disciples heard this, they were indignant, so Jesus gathered them again to remind them that true greatness is not about who sits on the right or the left saying, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become
great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all."