35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? 39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: 40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
Here is a classic example of how carnal Christians are today. We want to make an exhibition of ourselves, to receive a reward, to be glorified. We don’t really want to share in Christ’s sufferings or to submit every thought to Christ, but we want to be the big man or woman. America has become a casualty of Christian self-worship. James and John not only have the audacity to demand something of Christ but they respond that they can drink of the cup that He will drink from and be baptized with the baptism He will suffer without even knowing what He’s talking about.
They want to think of themselves as the top dogs and glory over the others which does not make the other apostles happy at all.
With regard to these verses, examine the sufferings of the Jews in history who drank deeply of the cup of Christ’s sufferings without wanting to, many murdered by Christians, and of the Christian martyrs who were murdered by other so-called Christians in the most inhumane ways possible. They did indeed drink of the cup that Christ drank of. The Great Tribulation, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, is coming where past events will be completely overshadowed.
Christ drank the cup of God’s fury for us but….
Psalms 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Revelation 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
You think meteorite chunks breaking a few windows are bad? You think an earthquake and tsunami are frightening? Be glad you won’t be here to share in the cup of the fierceness of his wrath.
Be glad you are saved, if you are. If not, then believe on and trust in Christ. Hard times are coming.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.