In this gospel reading, Jesus tells the disciples the many atrocities He will soon face in the hands of the Gentiles. He predicts His passion, specifically pointing out His scourging and crucifixion. Jesus concludes with saying that He will rise again on the third day. Soon after this news, the mother of James and John approaches Jesus. She requests that her two sons be at the right and left of Jesus in His kingdom. Jesus explains that He will not grant this blessing to the first person that asks. He asks the two disciples, “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” Jesus needs to know that James and John are willing to withstand the pain and sorrow that is in store for His close followers. With a close following to Jesus comes a cross that each man must carry for his life. Jesus of course knows this because He is aware of the plan His Father has for Him through His passion. In short, Jesus is clarifying that those who wish to be in His utmost favor must deserve this highly regarded position. It is not just given. The other disciples are outraged when they hear about the secret conversation James and John had with Jesus. Jesus teaches them the true meaning of greatness. He says whoever among you wishes to be great, will become your servant. Whoever wishes to be first among you, will become your slave. Jesus says one cannot wish for greatness, it has to be earned through the services they perform for others. Jesus finishes by saying; “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” God’s greatest gift to us is His most precious son Jesus, who lived to serve us and ultimately gave up His life for the ransom of mankind: eternal salvation.