Today's verse is Mark 10:41: "And when when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John." James and John, two members of Jesus' inner circle, probably his second cousins, went to him and asked him if they could sit on his left and right hands when he established his Messianic kingdom in Jerusalem.  These were the two highest positions of privilege and power.  They were trying to get ahead of the other disciples.  They certainly thought it to be their right because of special privilege.

They were motivated by one sole reason: selfish ambition.  They wanted glory for themselves.  They wanted to be celebrities.  They wanted power over others.

The problem with this kind of power is others want it too.  It's infectious.  When this happens, people are willing to do whatever is necessary, even stepping on others to reach their goals.  James 3:16 says that where there is strife and selfish ambition, there is every evil thing.  Wars have even been caused by people who want what someone else has and are willing to take it forcefully, if necessary.

That's why the other ten's response to James and John's request is telling.  They became "indignant."  They were ambitious too.  James and John had beaten them to the punch.  They wanted their positions of power and privilege secured too.

If you are a Christ follower, be careful about selfish ambition!  Do a heart check and make sure it can't be found in your heart.  Eliminate it at all costs.  It's easy to excuse under the disguise of just trying to be successful.  Or working hard.  It can have an angelic face.  But its true reality is evil, seen by actions that hurt others to obtain positions of privilege and power.  As James says, it can introduce "every evil thing" into life.

Selfish ambition is evil.  It's infectious.  It has no place in the heart of a follower of Christ.