[SW372] 3/30/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
“His Cup and His Baptism”
Text: Mark 10:32-45
James and John asked Jesus to seat them on His right and left. You want to be seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). But just as Jesus asked James and John, He asks you today, beloved — “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
John and James said, “Yes,” but Jesus told them they did not know what they were asking. He has asked me to show you the meaning, so when you ask, you will know what you are asking, and you will ask Him to make you able to do it.
Verse 32 —
Jesus and a group of His disciples, including the Twelve, were on the road going to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking ahead of them rather than with them. They were amazed and fearful, because they knew the Jews were trying to kill Jesus, yet He seemed eager to face them.
They did not understand that His face was set to do what His Father had sent Him to do —
Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord GOD helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.
Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem . . . (KJV)
If you want to be seated with Him in the heavenly places, beloved, you must drink His cup and be baptized with His baptism. You must set your face like flint and turn toward it in obedience to Him, when He shows you what it means.
Verses 33-34 —
He knew they were amazed and fearful, so He took the Twelve aside, and said, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles (non-Jews). The Jews handed Him over to the Romans because they were under Roman rule and were thereby prohibited from doing executions.
He already knew Judas would betray Him. He already knew that He would die on a Roman cross. Jesus said the Gentiles would mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him.
But three days later, He said, the Son of Man will rise again! His resurrection was the final proof that He is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ (Romans 1:4)!
Verses 35-37 —
They were unable to comprehend His words about being condemned to death, scourged and killed, just as with each time He had told them (Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 8:31 & 9:12, Luke 18:31-33, John 13:33 & 13:36) .
His Twelve were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. So even though Jesus had told them, they had no understanding that He had to die, taking upon Himself the punishment they deserved, so whoever would believe into Him would be saved from the wrath of God and reconciled to Him.
His Twelve disciples also had no understanding that His was not an earthly kingdom. So in their eyes, Jesus’ eagerness to get to Jerusalem meant that He was ready to take His place on the throne of David, defeat the Romans who ruled over and oppressed the Jews, and set the Jews free!
With that in mind, James and John wanted the choicest and most powerful positions in His earthly kingdom. So they went to Him and asked Him to do for them whatever they asked of Him. He asked what they wanted Him to do for them, and they told Him they wanted to sit on His right and left, in His glory (place of honor) in Jerusalem.
They were not yet filled with the Holy Spirit, so they had their own interests in mind. The disciples often argued about who was the greatest (Mark 9:34, Luke 9:46, etc.). If Jesus agreed to their request, their powerful positions would prove to the other Ten that they were the greatest!
Verse 38 —
Jesus said, “You do not know what you are asking.” In order to be part of His kingdom, they would need to be able to drink the cup that He drinks, and be baptized with the baptism with which He is baptized.
He had already told them what it is to drink His cup. They would be falsely accused by the Jews, condemned even to death, mocked, spat upon, scourged so that their flesh would be ripped away from their bodies, and then killed, for the sake of His gospel. They were all martyred except for John, because he was to receive the book of prophecy called The Revelation.
Verses 39-40 —
James and John said, “We are able,” when He asked them if they could drink His cup and be baptized with His baptism. But He would not give them a place on His right and left, in His heavenly kingdom. It was not His to give. His Father knew who He wanted in those positions, and His Father would make it so.
Again, they had no idea what they were saying, when they said, “We are able.” But He said, You shall drink My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.
To drink the cup is to undergo the persecution He underwent, even to physical death. But what is the baptism with which He was baptized? Jesus was baptized into death on a cross, but their baptism into death would happen at Pentecost.
After He rose and breathed on them (John 20:22), they received a measure of His Spirit in them. But then, James and John and the rest of the 120 obeyed His command to stay and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5). And Jesus Christ baptized them with the Holy Spirit and fire!
They were each individually filled with His Holy Spirit, and died to their own self-interests — that is, the sin nature that was on full display with James and John’s request and with the behavior of all of His disciples, before their personal Pentecost.
Death to self, to the sin nature, is the baptism Jesus asked them if they were able to undergo. Paul writes of this baptism of death, the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is done in human hearts by Jesus Christ —
Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 6 . . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin . . .
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
When they underwent the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they were empowered to drink His cup, even to the last drop. Before Pentecost, they had hidden from the Jews. After Pentecost, they preached Jesus in the temple.
Before Pentecost, they feared persecution. After Pentecost, they were dragged before the Sanhedrin, the equivalent of the Supreme Court. The first time, they were warned not to speak the name of Jesus. And they boldly told the Sanhedrin that they could not speaking of what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20).
The second time, they were flogged and warned not to speak the name of Jesus. When they were released, they went from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for speaking His name, which the Jews had banned everyone from speaking (Acts 5:40-41).
Jesus warned them that they would be persecuted (John 15:20). He knew that all but John would die at the hands of those who hated them. They drank His cup, underwent His baptism, and were made able to stand and even to rejoice in it!
Verses 41-44 —
Jesus knew the rest of the Twelve were indignant about James and John’s request. So He called them to Himself. He exhorted them that they were not to lord it over each other, or exercise authority over each other, as unbelievers do. But they could not do it until they were baptized with His baptism and their sin nature was crucified.
It was not to be that way among them. Instead, if any of them wished to be great, they must become servants to one another, and if they wanted to be first, they must become slaves to one another. But they could not do it until they were baptized with His baptism and their sin nature was crucified.
Only Jesus Christ can take the self-interest out of you, when you ask Him to crucify your sin nature and fill you with His nature. Then you will serve as He served, walk as He walks (1John 2:6), and be as He is in this world (1John 4:17). Be baptized with His baptism, as He commands, and you will be empowered to do it, beloved!
Verse 45 —
Jesus said, even the Son of Man (a title of the Christ) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Even God the Son did not come to be served!
His Father sent Him as His Servant to endure the punishment we deserved, so that all who will believe into Him will be saved from God’s wrath, be reconciled to God, and have eternal life!
In America, Christians are just beginning to experience persecution. Expect it to increase, just as Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24 and 25.
In many countries, some Christians are executed in front of their families, some are beheaded, some are crucified, some are stoned to death, some are imprisoned until they die, some are burned to death in their homes or their church, some are mocked and spat upon. Some are beaten and whipped to the point of death.
Why? Because they proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. They are able to drink His cup, for they have undergone His baptism.
Again, here is His question to you — are you able to drink His cup, and be baptized with His baptism? He knows you do not fully understand it. But He commands you to do it. If you love Him, you will obey Him (John 14:23).
When you have drunk His cup and been baptized with His baptism, you will be able to say, with Paul —
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
He gave Himself up for you! When you give yourself up to Him so your sin nature is crucified, you will live for Him and not yourself, and He will fully live in you!
Lord Jesus, You are worthy of our immediate obedience to Your words. I pray it will be done. Amen.