Mark 10:35-52: What Do You Want Jesus to Do for You?

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Mark 10:35-52: What Do You Want Jesus to Do for You?

May 4, 2021


1 Samuel 9-10Psalm 98Mark 10:35-522 Corinthians 3

Mark 10:35-52:

Two of the disciples try to cut to the head of the line by asking Jesus directly to share in his glory. To sit at his right and his left—the honored positions—in glory. When they ask him, the way they ask exposes their presumption. We want you to do whatever it is we ask!

Somewhat wearily (may we say?) Jesus replies, “What do you want me to do for you?” When he is told, he replies that they do not know what they are asking; can they share his cup and be baptized with his baptism—referring to his crucifixion and death. They answer glibly, “We are able.” Jesus tells them that they will face persecution as Jesus will, but what they are asking for is not something that is given away simply for the asking at a moment’s notice.

The others are annoyed at James and John. This allows Jesus to explain, once again, that greatness in his kingdom is a matter of service, not “lording it over” other people. And then the famous verse: “For even the Son of Man came not be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” The shape of greatness is defined by the other-serving love of the cross.

By contrast to the disciples grasping after glory comes verses 46-52, a blind beggar. He also is asking something of Jesus, but it is a very different thing that he is asking. Having just said to his disciples, “What do you want me to do for you?” (10:36), Jesus now turns and asks exactly the same question of the blind beggar, “What do you want me to do for you?” (10:51). This man simply replies he wants to see. That is a much healthier response to Jesus’ question.

What we want is sight, spiritual sight, being made well, the encounter with Christ that is life changing now and forever.


Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.


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