"Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom." Thus a mother pleaded, as so many mothers do, that her sons might have preferential treatment.

The answer Jesus gave the wife of Zebedee was direct, almost stern. He turned to James and John and asked them if they knew the meaning of such a request. Were they prepared, with fearless self-abnegation, to share his fate?

Later, when the ten other disciples murmured in outraged indignation because such a privilege had been demanded, and would have vented their wrath upon the two young men, Jesus rebuked them. He explained, in effect, that they were all arguing from a material point of view. Only through service could those who followed his teaching attain to greatness. He himself had come to serve others—even to give his life for them. All that is selfish, grasping, or aggressive in temporal government must, in order that peace may come to the world, be replaced by service, sacrifice, and spirituality.

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Handling Aggressive Suggestion
October 3, 1942

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