The DEEP

Asteroid to Strike the Earth

Details at 11.

Matthew 20:17–21

Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.

And He said to her, “What do you wish?”

She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”

This incident will take more than one day to unpack.

Jesus is, obviously, the ultimate example of Christian eyes. Yet sometimes it seems like his disciples are the ultimate example of non-Christian eyes.

Jesus’s announcement of His coming betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection should blow their minds, or at least be a good conversation starter.

They know He’s the Messiah. They know His word is truth. He’s just prophesied a chilling future. You’d think He’d have gotten their attention.

But no, in the craziest segue in scripture, Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. It’s like the old joke about a TV news break — “Asteroid to strike the earth. All life to end. Details at 11. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.”

Imagine Jesus’s internal sigh as he asks her, “What do you wish?”

And sure enough, her question has nothing to do with what He just announced. He could have responded with something like, “Don’t worry; no one will be sitting anywhere after all these things come to pass.”

In fact, what He says next isn’t too far from that.


Jesus’s incredible focus on His path to the cross is the central plot line of the gospels. He knows what’s coming. He tells His disciples what’s coming. What’s coming is rough. Yet He never breaks stride.

He’s modeling what the disciples (and all Christians) are to do—prioritize the kingdom over everything else, particularly personal health and safety.

He’s even prioritizing the kingdom over its king (Himself).


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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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