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Will I Drink of This Cup?
10/30/2014

For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30 NKJV)

One day the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons.  She knelt down before Jesus and asked Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”  Jesus responded by saying, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”  John and James responded by telling Jesus, “We are able.”  Jesus replied, You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” (Matt. 20:21-24).

This request from the mother of John and James was an extraordinary one.  Was she asking because she believed that Jesus had come to set up an earthly kingdom, and she wanted her two sons in a prominent place of authority?  Or did she truly understand that Jesus was speaking of His eternal throne of glory in Heaven (Matt. 19:28)? 

But I think the bigger question for me is this; did she fully understand what Jesus meant when He asked if the two boys were able to drink of the cup that He was about to drink, or did she just sort of conveniently forget about what must transpire and precede His glory—the drinking of the cup.

I think this question was a powerful checkpoint for these two followers of Jesus Christ, and it should be for us as well.  I say checkpoint, because John and James had to count the cost to their personal lives, and then make a decision as to whether they truly believed in who Jesus was, and whether believing, following and living for Him was worth the suffering.  Keep in mind, I’m not simply talking about being disliked or mocked, but they were facing the potential of losing everything they had, including their families, being kicked out of the synagogue, and being beaten and killed (John 16:2).  In essence, it would cost them everything, as He would send them out as lambs among the wolves (Luke 16:3).   

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt. 16:24-26 (NKJV)

It is important for us to know why we were created, and by whom—to know we’ve been chosen for such a time as this, been given unique gifts to be used for the entire body of believers (Eph. 2:10).  It is also important to know that apart from God we can do nothing, but through Christ Jesus we can do all things (John 15:5; Phil. 4:13).

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained within this devotional, what can we deduce with respect to our counting the cost of following Jesus, and for being prepared for the tribulation and testing that will follow?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you prepared to drink from the cup?

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Let’s choose to stay focused on our Lord’s promises, on heaven, and mostly upon Him.  As we keep our minds fixed upon Him and we trust Him, we will be given a perfect peace (Isa. 26:3)

SOMETHING SPECIAL:  I am honored to share a video from my good friend and brother in Christ—Christian Lindberg.  I feel this video has a great message that parallels this devotional, and will encourage and challenge all who receive its truth in love.  

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxldbHXik9UsLXJ2VjFRWjdCTTg/preview?pli=1

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for choosing me before the foundations of the earth.  Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to live within me, to guide me, and to empower me in all that I do. Thank You for Your many blessings, both here on earth, and for those awaiting me in heaven.  Help me to walk in Your Spirit today.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000