The contrast between the two requests in our New Testament reading today were interesting. I've heard both stories before but never realized that they came one after another like this. In both examples, people bring their desires to Jesus but only one gets their prayers answered in the way they were hoping.
What grace and love Jesus shows the woman with the two sons! She came to him with a worldly, selfish request to have her sons placed in positions of power for eternity. Instead of chastising her and sending her away with a lecture, He simply says, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” Matthew 20:23.
After that when the disciples become indignant at her request (like so many of us can!) Jesus again shows pure love and grace by basically saying to them, the nature of this world is to gain power and rule it over others. It makes sense that she thinks the Kingdom of God would work in the same way. However, he continues His teaching: "26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[b]28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I can't help but see the greater teaching of the positioning of our hearts when we go to God. When we pray, are we praying like the mother, looking for security or comfort through an earth-focused lens? Or are we praying like the blind men, for eyes to see so that we might follow Jesus more clearly?