You Know Not What You Ask For

The mother of James and John came to Jesus with her two sons. She knelt down and started begging him to do something for her. Jesus asked her what she wanted, and she said, “When you come into your kingdom, please let one of my sons sit at your right side and the other at your left.”

(Matthew 20:20-21 NIV)

The mother of the sons of Zebedee, as she is also known, was a typical mother. She wanted the best for her two sons, James and John. So she went to Jesus and asked Him to grant her sons honoured positions in His kingdom. But these positions came at a price, something that neither the mother or the sons knew anything about. “Jesus answered, “Not one of you knows what you are asking. Are you able to drink from the cup that I must soon drink from?”’ (Matthew 20:22). In other words, “Can you endure the internal, mental and spiritual sufferings which I am about to endure?” Still wanting the privilleged positions in the kingdom, James and John respond with an emphatic “Yes!” (v.22). However, some time after her encounter with Jesus, the well-intentioned mother stood at a distance and watched as Jesus was crucified with two criminals–one on His right and the other on His left (Matthew 27:56). It was then that she realized the cost of her request. The Bible tells us that James was later martyred (Acts 12:1-2) and John was banished to an island (Revelation 1:9).

We can all identify with this mother and her sons. At some point in time, we’ve all come to God on bended knees and begged Him to grant us something, not realizing what it is that we’re asking for. It’s not long before God allows us to see and understand what our request could cost us and helps us to reconsider our request. What is that you’re still begging God to do for you? Allow Him to show you whether your request is something you can handle. He knows best.

Be careful what you pray for. 

Published by risingwiththeson

Farah obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree (with a double major in English and Religious Studies) from the University of Toronto, where she also completed her Bachelor of Education (OISE). While she enjoys teaching, writing gives Farah equal pleasure. She began to exercise this passion with the publication of "Rising with the Son," her daily devotional blog. It is designed to help strengthen the faith of her readers in Jesus. Through her writing, it is Farah's wish to inspire others and help them develop a closer relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

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