Following Jesus requires GIVING UP many things. Among these things, the rejection of the pursuit of power for its own sake, and the human selfishness of living a self-centered life.
There is a popular saying that says: "he who has more ... wants more." This saying is not far from the truth. The human being, by nature, has as a psychological need the desire to feel that he has dominion and authority over others. The history of humanity shows this and the current media constantly inform us about people who occupying great positions, whether in private companies or the government, are involved in acts of corruption. In the same way, the exploitation of the richest towards the poor or working class is a fact that is still present. It seems that it is not enough to be at the forefront and be the leader of a company or a people. Fame, luxury, comfort, and money distract from healthy employment and the exercise of acquired power.
Immediately after Jesus shares with his disciples about his passion (Mk 10: 32-34), the behavior of the sons of Zebedee draws attention. Remember that Peter, James, and John are known as the inner circle of Jesus (9: 2-8; 14: 32-42). On the way to Jerusalem, these two disciples approached Jesus with a request filled with high personal interests. "Master, we want you to grant us what we are going to ask of you." When Jesus asked them what they wanted, they requested that they be allowed to sit one on each side of Jesus in his glory. In the ancient world the right of a king was the place of honor, and the left the next in importance. In other words, these two characters request special positions and authority.
Jesus assured them that they would indeed share in some of their afflictions, but they would not therefore have special places in the Kingdom. He tells them that sitting to the right and left of His throne was not His place to grant it. It would be given to "those for whom it is prepared." History shows that important places of service, and often of honor, go to those who have prepared for it rather than to those who have selfishly sought them out.