In Mark 10 I really enjoy reading the account of James and John asking Jesus to sit in the places of honor when he comes into his kingdom. It is no wonder the other disciples get a little indignant, as the NLT tells us. Jesus tries to tell them they have it all wrong, and things do not really work that way. However, I am not sure they understand.
Part of the difficulty is found in what people during the days of Jesus were looking for in a Messiah. Many were looking for a political messiah. Someone who would reclaim the throne of David, reestablish Israel as an independent nation, and rule with the guidance of God. I am not sure they were even looking for someone who was of Divine nature. So as the group moves closer to Jerusalem, and Jesus steps up the discussion about what is going to happen in Jerusalem, the disciples are getting excited and confused all at the same time. Excited because they will soon see the political messiah take his place. Confused because Jesus keeps on talking about dying.
All of the disciples are jockeying for position in an earthly court. Jesus reminds them he is not the one who determines who is in the court and, it is not an earthly kingdom which is being established. Basically Jesus tells the disciples, and you and me, to keep doing the work we have been shown. Keep in mission t o the world, and let God sort out all the details of placement, and prestige. We must trust God to move us to where we need to be when we need to be there. If that is the right hand of the King so be it, if it is cleaning the latrine of heaven so be it, if that is where God has send us to be.