Day 2—Read: Mark 10:32-45
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
The Request of James and John
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Reflect: Mark records some new details from the same event. How does Jesus wrap up this incident?
Consider: “Ransom” (lytron) occurs only here and in Matthew 20:28 in the New Testament. As “the price of release” it refers to a payment to affect the release of slaves or captives from bondage. It also includes the concept of substitution. People are captives under the power of sin and death (cf. Rom. 5:12; 6:20) from which they cannot free themselves. Jesus’ substitutionary death paid the price that sets people free (cf. Rom. 6:22; Heb. 2:14–15).
The preposition “for” (anti), used in Mark only here, reinforces the idea of substitution. It means “instead of, in the place of” (cf. Matt. 2:22; Luke 11:11; 1 Peter 3:9). Jesus gave His life (psychēn) in the place of many.
“Many” is used in the inclusive sense of “all” (cf. 1:32–34; Isa. 53:10–12). It emphasizes how a large number derive redemptive benefit from the single sacrifice of the One Redeemer (cf. Rom. 5:15, 18–19). Jesus’ death as a ransom extended beyond His own people to all peoples (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5–6).2
Respond: To what extent are you willing to go to serve others? Do you have any hesitations regarding who you will serve or in certain situations? Pray that God will give you a heart like Christ and desire to serve as He leads.
2 John D. Grassmick, “Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 154.