People like to be popular, and prosperous. No wonder, two of the disciples of Lord Jesus Christ also were driven by aspirations, ambitions, and desire. They wanted an exalted position. Then, the sons of Zebedee did not directly ask the Lord but tried to do mediation through their mother. Lord Jesus asked whether they will be ready to go through the baptism, they said they will. Lord said, even if they could, it is the Father in Heaven prerogative to decide who could be seated at his right and left. (Matthew 20: 21-24) Sadly, the world enjoys and seeks values that could be called Anti-Kingdom values.
1) Position and Prominence: Prominence or pre-eminence among the twelve chosen apostles was their desire.
2) Power and pomp: They were seeking power over people and the whole Kingdom of God. Power over resources including people and finances.
3) Proximity: Their proximity will give them preferential treatment everywhere and always. Such proximity could be taken advantage of by manipulating people.
4) Priority: Their self was priority in contrast to the Kingdom of God. Just like premier class passengers in flights, they could get priority.
5) Popularity: There was a possibility for popularity among the masses. In fact, they would be given the status of demi-gods.
6) Possessions: All these will ensure possessions too. That will ensure a luxurious lifestyle and future security.
7) Personal advantage: John and James will have personal advantages that will help them to gain status among their family members.
Kingdom values in contrast with the values of the world. Kingdom people love being servants and do not seek positions. They do not aggregate power but empower others. Poor oppressed are close and priority to their heart. Limelight is not their preference but serving in the background. In the Kingdom, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Not self-centred are the Kingdom people, but concerned about others’ progress and welfare. James and John realised and celebrated the Kingdom truth later.
Is my life governed by the values of the Kingdom of God?