Jesus continually reminds the disciples of the need for humility and service, but they have trouble living up to His example! James and John want the positions of preeminence in the coming kingdom. Jesus warns them that it might not be what they are expecting. The baptism and cup Jesus refers to bring to mind what He just mentioned: “the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and experts in the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him severely, and kill him.” They, perhaps naively, tell him that they are ready to drink the cup He drinks and be baptized with His baptism. He predicts that they will indeed! James will be killed (Acts 12:2), and John will be exiled (Revelation 1:9). They are guaranteed suffering, but they are not guaranteed the positions they want. It turns out that the other disciples want them too! Jesus reminds them of the need for servanthood AGAIN, and uses himself as an example: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This section concludes with blind Bartimaeus refusing to be ignored! He continually cries out to Jesus until he is called over, and then he is healed. The reminder here is that we should be persistent. Sometimes God is testing us to see if our faith will be strong and we’ll persevere. We shouldn’t give up if we feel that God is far away! That should just encourage us to try harder to get close to Him.
Luke 11:5-8 “Then he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.” Then he will reply from inside, “Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.'”