“The son of man came not to be served but to serve.”
-Jesus (Matthew 20:28)
“Can you do it?” is the question Jesus asked James and John when they vied to be first and second in his coming kingdom.
The whole episode turns on this idea.
James and John had the right vision (focusing on Jesus’s kingdom), but they had the wrong perspective.
They were trying to see this vision come true like we always do. By grabbing and reaching until we have it.
But Jesus said this isn’t the way.
Like saving pennies until you become a millionaire. It’s just not going to work.
Instead, he says, the way to authority is through service. And not the superficial kind, but service that may require you to “give up [your] life.”
In other words, authority comes from first seeking the success of others.