105 Two disciples seek the highest honor.

Matthew 20:20–28; Mark 10:35–45

Mark says James and John sought a favor from Jesus, but Matthew says it was their mother. How can both be true (Matthew 20:20; Mark 10:35)?

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Who do you think was most interested in seats of honor beside Jesus, the sons or the mother (Matthew 20:21)? Why?

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What did Jesus indicate would be required to gain the highest place of honor (Matthew 20:22)?

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Why did James and John think they would be able and willing to endure the same suffering as Jesus (Matthew 20:22)?

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How did Jesus know what James and John would do (Matthew 20:23)?

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Why did Jesus say the seats of honor were not his to give (Matthew 20:23)?

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Why were the other disciples angry with James and John (Matthew 20:24)?

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What is the difference in the way greatness is judged in Heaven and on Earth (Matthew 20:25–28)?

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Zebedee’s wife went to Jesus with her sons, James and John. She knelt before him and asked if he would do her a favor.

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:20 Zebedee’s wife went to Jesus with her sons. She knelt before him and asked if he would do her a favor.
Mark 10:35 Zebedee’s sons, James and John, went to see Jesus. “Master, we have a favor to ask of you.”
King James

Matthew 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
Mark 10:35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

“What do you want?” Jesus said.

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:21 “What do you want?” Jesus said. “In your glorious Kingdom,” she said, “award the seats of honor on your right and left to my two sons.”
Mark 10:36 “What do you want?”
King James

Matthew 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
Mark 10:36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

“In your glorious Kingdom,” she said, “award the seats of honor on your right and left to my two sons.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:21 “What do you want?” Jesus said. “In your glorious Kingdom,” she said, “award the seats of honor on your right and left to my two sons.”
Mark 10:37 “In your glorious Kingdom, let us have the seats of honor on your right and left.”
King James

Matthew 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
Mark 10:37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

“You have no idea what you are asking.” To the sons, he said, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink and suffer the same baptism I must receive?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:22 “You have no idea what you are asking.” To the sons, he said, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said, “Yes, we are.”
Mark 10:38 “You have no idea what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink and suffer the same baptism I must receive?”
King James

Matthew 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Mark 10:38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

They said, “Yes, we are.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:22 “You have no idea what you are asking.” To the sons, he said, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said, “Yes, we are.”
Mark 10:39 They said, “Yes, we are.” “Indeed you will drink from my cup and suffer the same baptism,
King James

Matthew 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Mark 10:39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

“Indeed you will drink from my cup and suffer the same baptism, but the places on my right and left are not mine to give. They are reserved for the ones for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:23 “Indeed you will drink from my cup, but the places on my right and left are not mine to give. They are reserved for the ones for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
Mark 10:39–40 They said, “Yes, we are.” “Indeed you will drink from my cup and suffer the same baptism, but the places on my right and left are not mine to give. They are reserved for the ones for whom they have been prepared.”
King James

Matthew 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Mark 10:39–40 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

When the other ten disciples heard what had happened, they were angry with the two brothers.

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:24 When the other ten disciples heard what had happened, they were angry with the two brothers.
Mark 10:41 When the other ten disciples heard what had happened, they were angry with James and John.
King James

Matthew 20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
Mark 10:41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

So Jesus called them together. “You know that the most honored among the Gentiles exercise dominion over others. Great rulers command unquestioned service. But you will not be like kings. Your greatness will depend on how well you serve others. If you want the highest place of honor, you must be everyone’s servant, just like the Son of Man, who has come to serve and sacrifice his life for many.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 20:25–28 So Jesus called them together. “You know that the most honored among the Gentiles exercise dominion over others. Great rulers command unquestioned service. But you will not be like kings. Your greatness will depend on how well you serve others. If you want the highest place of honor, you must be the best servant, just like the Son of Man, who has come to serve and sacrifice his life for many.”
Mark 10:42–45 So Jesus called them together. “You know that the most honored among the Gentiles exercise dominion over others. Great rulers command unquestioned service. But you will not be like the kings. Your greatness depends on how well you serve others. If you want the highest place of honor, you must be everyone’s servant, just like the Son of Man, who has come to serve and sacrifice his life for many.”
King James

Matthew 20:25–28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:42–45 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.