“What is it you want?” he asked.
The mother of James and John said to Jesus, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father." - Matthew 20:21-23
How patiently you redirected the conversation. They asked the wrong question and so they would have received the wrong answer had you answered them. So you asked them a better question, "Can you live a sacrificial life like me." What a silly answer they gave. The said they could and without you they couldn't. So, at first they ran from you to avoid suffering. But then later they lived and died as martyrs for grace. It's just like us; we want the glory but not the guts. We want the ease but not the pain of love. We want to win but we don't want to struggle. We want to be served but not to serve. But you serve us still and save our souls and then lead us by the hand into the selfless life, that is; the full life that is selfless. The only way to live selflessly is to be void of thoughts about reward. You call us to let go of our carnal craving for praise and to lose ourselves in the joy of sacrificial love. Oh Jesus, wrench my heart free from my love for self and make me a happy servant.
Pastor Don Patterson
People who worry about places in line have no place for joy in the grace of giving.