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Mark 10:35-40 – Nespotism and Baptism

|| Matthew 20:20-23[1]

MK10:35 Now later James and John,[2] the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus, asking: “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we wish to ask you.” MK10:36 So Jesus said to them: “What do you want me to do for you?” MK10:37 Then they said to Jesus: “Give us permission to sit, one on your right hand and one on your left hand, during your glory.”[3] MK10:38 However, Jesus responded: “You have no idea what you ask! Are you willing to drink the cup[4] I will drink? Are you willing to be baptized in my baptism?”[5] MK10:39 Then [James and John] said: “We can!” But, Jesus told them: “You shall for a certainty drink from my cup,[6] and you will be baptized in my own baptism. MK10:40 However, this sitting on my right or left hand is not mine to grant, but will be granted to those to whom it has been prepared.”[7]

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[1] Matthew 20:20-23: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] James and John: Two of the three Jesus took into the mountain of transfiguration. In other accounts it is the mother of these two brothers who makes this request, though likely prompted by them.

[3] During your glory: Though likely not understanding the full meaning of these words, they probably refer to his Return or Parousia and the subsequent rule and judgment. Compare notes on Matthew 25:31-46.

[4] Cup: Compare notes on Matthew 20:22; Luke 12:50; John 18:11; Romans 6:3.

[5] Baptism: Both the cup and baptism are symbols for a life of self-sacrifice with the possibility of martyrdom.

[6] You shall for a certainty drink from my cup: James was martyred as the record in Acts shows. John lived a long life of self-sacrifice dying at about the age of 100.

[7] Those to whom it has been prepared: It would appear that such places will be assigned. It is possible these would turn out to be Peter and John.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:1-12 – Pharisees Debate About Divorce

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:13-16 – Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:17-22 – Sell and Give to Poor

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:23-31 – The Difficulty of Money

Mark 10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 10:32-34 – Predicts His Suffering

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