‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.’ John 13:14
The sons of Zebedee loved Jesus so much that they would like to sit next to Him - one on His right and the other on His left - in His glory. And if their love for Jesus was not the prime reason for this, then at least it was because they believed in His glory and wanted to be part of it.
But Jesus said to them, ‘You don’t know what you are asking.’ For whoever wants to share in His glory, must also share in His suffering as Paul tells us from first-hand experience (Romans 8:17).
And even if we love Jesus so much that we are willing to follow in His steps - which He has left here on earth on His road to Golgotha (1 Peter 2:21) - even then, we will not be hailed as heroes. For when we have drunk from the cup of suffering that Christ drunk here on earth, we will grow to understand what He has done for us.
But then we cannot bear it anymore that we ourselves might be the focus of attention in whatever manner, for then we only long that the Savior - Who has gone such a deep way for us - will receive the full honor and glory that He is entitled to. Then the true joy of serving is born. Then every desire to assert ourselves disappears, for in God’s Light nothing about our personal lives is worth being vindicated.
In the footsteps of our Master a deep and true joy will be born to dedicate our lives wholly to the people around us, so that they too will share in the grace we have received.