“James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we wantyou to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in yourglory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking…” Mark 10:35-45
In the gospel for this coming Sunday, Jesus’ disciples were arguing about who would get the places of honor when Christ came into his glory. The seat to the right was the highest honor,(think “right hand man.”), and implied the closest relationship. The left was also very important,second only to the right. Instead of putting them in their place and shaming them, Jesus toldthem they didn’t know what they were asking.
Then he asked them, “Are you able to drink thecup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” The words came so easily from their mouths – but they had no idea then how Jesus would suffer, and what the cost to him – and to them – would be.
Jesus leaves them – and us – with these words: “…whoever wishes to become great among youmust be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:35- 45)
Today, October 18, is the feast day of St Luke, The Evangelist. We associate Luke most often with the Gospel bearing his name, and possibly the book known as The Acts of the Apostles. Luke was a gentile and a physician, and, like Paul, a missionary, spreading Christianity throughout the mostly gentile Roman world. He apparently had not known Jesus, but was inspired by hearing and working with those who had known him.
He saw himself as a servant,bound to share the message of God’s love throughout his life and in his living. We don’t knowwhat happened to Luke: some accounts say he was martyred, others say he died of old age at some 84 years. However his life ended, his legacy can be found in the words he left behind. It was Luke who gave us the baby Jesus in the manger, the angels and the shepherds.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who
lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. Collect for St Luke the Evangelist, BCP page 244
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Peace and blessing,
Collect for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost