Sitting at the Right Hand of Christ

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus, and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But 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?” 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; 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.”  (Mark 10:35-40)

“The disciples, not knowing what they asked for, wanted to be on the right hand and the left hand of Jesus when he comes in glory. What such a request actually entails is revealed when we see Jesus positioned, or rather enthroned, between two thieves, one on his right hand and the other on his left, on the Cross. Christ comes into his glory on the Cross. This demolishes all our conceptions of what glory is, all our assumptions about honor and power. Indeed, it turns on its head our image of who and what God is: God is not a despot who exercises his power by imposing his will, who glorifies in the subservience of his subjects, or who responds to their petty requests.

No, God reveals his power in weakness, his wisdom in folly, his glory on the Cross, and his irresistibly will in the love he makes manifest in this way. … Jesus specifically says: the Son of man came to serve and give his life as a ransom for all, and so whoever would be the first must be the slave of all. (Matthew 20:27-28” (John Behr, The Cross Stands While the World Turns: Homilies for the Cycle of the Year, pp 46-47)

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