Bringing the Text to Life

The Greatest Mark 10:35-45

The Greatest

Stripping away illusion and confusion, Jesus reveals the true meaning of greatness.

At a Glance

This well-known incident prompts a look at some of those who claimed to be great or who were dubbed by history as great. We then take a closer look at what Jesus says about what it means to be truly great.

Editors' Pick

For material based on the OT lesson, see "Is Your HappyLite On?" October 19, 2003, at

Sons of Thunder.

That's the nickname given by Jesus to James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Mark 3:17). They are two of the first disciples called by Jesus, a couple of guys in his inner circle.

Sons of Thunder: An awesome name for a motorcycle gang. Or a rock band.

But these two brothers think that it would be even better to be known as "the Great." So they walk up to Jesus and say, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you" (10:35).

Are they being presumptuous? Yes.

Narcissistic? Probably.

Out of line? Absolutely.

You might want to shake your head at their arrogance, but the request they make is really not surprising. When you believe that...

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