The disciples, beginning with James and John, saw the approaching glorification of Jesus as an opportunity for them to be exalted to positions of authority. What we can understand from Jesus’ response to them is that there are two types of people in the world — takers and givers.
The kingdom of the world is characterized by takers — whether in their marriages, their home life, the work place, the church, etc. The kingdom of heaven, on the other hand, is characterized by givers, beginning with Jesus who came to serve, not to be served.
When you progress in the kingdom of the world, you can expect to be served more and more. If you progress in the kingdom of heaven, on the other hand, you will serve others more. Takers always expect others to meet their needs, and so they will eventually get offended over something or the other — in their marriages, homes, church, etc. — and leave. Givers, on the other hand, when they see a need, stick it out and seek God for the grace to meet those needs through them.
God wants to make all grace abound to us, not so that we can be takers who accumulate more for ourselves, but so that we can be givers who do good to others as a result (II Corinthians 9:6-8). Because Paul was a giver, not a taker, he refused to be financially dependent on the church in Ephesus, and provided for his own needs (Acts 20:25-35).
Jesus also said that following Him on this way of serving involves a cup of suffering (Matthew 20:22-28). This is why we emphasize the way of the cross over all the other good earthly causes with which we could get taken up. Every other emphasis results in a hope that will disappoint (Romans 5:5).
The true hope that we have been given is one that we can be completely assured of, because God both said it and then took an oath on it (Hebrews 6:13-20). This hope thus becomes an anchor for our soul.
We must ensure, however, that the anchor isn’t just sitting unused in the boat, or hanging limply over the side. Our anchor must go all the way into the ground at the bottom of the ocean for the boat to be steadfast.
We are told that the anchor reaches “within the veil”, into the Most Holy Place where God dwells. Drawing on the design of the Tabernacle, if we get stuck along the way with just the forgiveness of our sins and baptism in water (Outer Court), our hope will disappoint. If we go further, but get stuck with just the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, or doing some service for God (Holy Place), our hope will still disappoint.
Let us therefore follow Jesus our Forerunner all the way into the presence of God (Most Holy Place), and be anchored there as worshipers of God. When God is all we seek, we will find that He fills us according to our needs, and causes rivers of living water to flow out from our innermost being (John 7:38).