The mother of James and John, without Zebedee their father, came to Christ to make a request for her sons. She like many of that day and of this day, expected an earthly kingdom and wanted the word of the King to command that her sons be on the right and left of His throne. This enraged the rest of the disciples and rightly so, such arrogance! Be careful where we stand brethren and don’t pass judgment too quickly upon her. We possess the same frowardness in our Adamic nature and would seek the same. Even today many are ‘proud’ of their affiliations, beliefs and even that Jehovah has brought us out of darkness while leaving others in the kingdom of Satan. Christ tells her she does not know what she asks and that to grant such was of the Father only. But then He asks; Can you drink the cup that I must drink of? Can you be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Like the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, James and John say they can. The cup which He had to drink of is the cup of the fury of God and neither they nor any man is worthy or capable to drink such. The wrath of God would immediately strike us dead because of our sin. Only the Anointed of God, the sinless Son could drink of that cup but His children shall drink of His cup, which is the cup of the New Covenant which is His blood which is shed for the remission of sin. The baptism which Christ had before Him (Luke 12:50) was the baptism of His death and burial which is the only baptism unto the remission of sin. John preached this doctrine before he baptized with water. It is a baptism in blood for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Lev. 17:11). This is the washing that the saints who came forth out of great tribulation, washed their garments in. It is the righteousness of the Lamb which is imputed, by His death and burial, as the garment of His bride. John baptized with water after he preached this doctrine and after they had confessed their sins. He did not baptize with water to wash away sin. No water on this earth could ever wash away sin any more than the blood of bulls and goats could purge the conscience of the sinner from sin. There is One Lord and One faith in baptism (Eph. 4:5) and it is the faith of Jesus Christ.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes