The underline of advertising is personal power and authoritative voices telling you what you need to know. So who really is powerful? Who are the legitimate authorities?
Certainly, the world of advertising is not where we look for direction.
Some would preach that you must be your own authority. ‘No one has the right to give you direction or control your limits. Submission is the weakness of powerless people. You must seize, demand and control or be the victim.’
When I look to Jesus, I find a new definition of power. He taught people how to live with love for their oppressors and to measure their own behaviour in light of the Law of Love. The disciples were seeking empowerment as much as anyone else. Their quest followed some familiar lines of thought.
James and John were prompted by their mother to ask Jesus for this privilege. It was apparent that Jesus was powerful and would one day rule in the land. What better way to make their mark in history and have authority than to be the personal advisors and assistants of Jesus?
They were doing what we encourage high school students and young adults to do. Be all you can be. Find some noble pursuit and begin the work to accomplish your goal. There you will have personal power and security. Right now you are basically powerless (or at least penniless).
Jesus weighs their request for authority and power and responds with some realistic questions. Then, he defines the essence of true power and authority.
This is the 'upside down authority' of the Incarnation.