I will illustrate this through a difficult thought experiment, the premise of which you will want to reflexively reject . . . but which I urge you to accept, only temporarily, purely for the sake of answering the hypothetical. Assume for the sake of argument that you had no idea of the relative electoral viability of two candidates. Now assume that one of the candidates is a Generic Republican from Jonah’s Reaganite Third Party. The other candidate is Trump—or, to keep the comparisons generic, a Generic Trumpy Candidate.
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing Jesus’s words of trusting in God only, and attaining greatness and delight only through service and suffering:
What God does is well done,
His will remains righteous;
However he begins my affairs,
I will silently keep to Him.
. . . .
When the bitterness of the cross
struggles with the weakness of the flesh,
nevertheless it is well done.
Whoever, through misapprehension,
considers the cross unbearable,
will also in the future never share delight.
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