Matthew 20:22-23 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
James and John said, “We are able.”
Really? The fact that they had their mother ask Jesus on their behalf would seem to be definitive evidence that they probably were not, in fact, “able.” But that was fine, because they were with the One Who is able.
The cup that Jesus was to drink of and the baptism that Jesus was to be baptized with was suffering and death for the sake of the gospel. Suffering for the gospel is something they would indeed do, but not of their own ability.
The phrase “through Christ” occurs nearly 400 times in the New Testament. How many times does it occur in your speech? Jesus’ response in verse 22 may seem ominous to us because we are thinking about the suffering part of it, however, “through Christ” we can endure to the end.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let’s not forget that. Should we face mockery or should we face suffering or should we face death, we face those things through Christ.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
God’s plans trump anything and everything this world can throw at us. And understand that Jesus is not rebuking them for asking … that’s not what is going on here. In fact, Jesus is encouraging them. He says, “God has plans and you feature prominently in them.”
That’s true in your life just as it was true in the lives of James and John. God has a plan for each of us. It is not necessarily the same plan, but God has equipped each of us with gifts and abilities specific to those things He has ordained for our course.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
You’re life “through Christ” is a custom fit. There are things set on your path that God has placed there. Are you available? Or are you tied up in excuses? Even the act of giving yourself over to God is a work of God. So, we can do all things without striving through Christ because He abides in us and us in Him … and we are fruitful … through Christ.