Mr 10:1-12. Final Departure
from Galilee—Divorce. ( =
Mt 19:1-12; Lu 9:51).
See on Mt 19:1-12.
Mr 10:13-16. Little Children
Brought to Christ. ( = Mt 19:13-15; Lu
See on Lu 18:15-17.
Mr 10:17-31. The Rich Young
Ruler. ( = Mt 19:16-30; Lu 18:18-30).
See on Lu 18:18-30.
Mr 10:32-45. Third Explicit
and Still Fuller Announcement of His Approaching Sufferings, Death, and
Resurrection—The Ambitious Request
of James and John, and the Reply. ( = Mt
20:17-28; Lu 18:31-34).
Third Announcement of His approaching Sufferings,
Death, and Resurrection (Mr 10:32-34).
32. And they were in the way—on the
going up to Jerusalem—in Perea, and
probably somewhere between Ephraim and Jericho, on the farther side of
the Jordan, and to the northeast of Jerusalem.
and Jesus went before them—as Grotius says, in the style of an intrepid
and they were amazed—or "struck with
astonishment" at His courage in advancing to certain death.
and as they followed, they were
afraid—for their own safety. These artless, lifelike
touches—not only from an eye-witness, but one whom the noble
carriage of the Master struck with wonder and awe—are peculiar to
Mark, and give the second Gospel a charm all its own; making us feel as
if we ourselves were in the midst of the scenes it describes. Well
might the poet exclaim:
"The Saviour, what a noble flame
Was kindled in His breast,
When, hasting to Jerusalem,
march'd before the rest!"
And he took again the twelve—referring
to His previous announcements on this sad subject.
and began to tell them what things should happen
unto him—"were going to befall Him." The word expresses
something already begun but not brought to a head, rather than
something wholly future.
33. Saying, Behold, we go up to
Jerusalem—for the last time, and—"all things that are
written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be
accomplished" (Lu 18:31).
the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief
priests and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and
shall deliver him to the Gentiles—This is the first express
statement that the Gentiles would combine with the Jews in His death;
the two grand divisions of the human race for whom He died thus taking
part in crucifying the Lord of Glory, as Webster and Wilkinson
34. And they shall mock him, and shall scourge
him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he
shall rise again—Singularly explicit as this announcement
was, Luke (Lu 18:34)
says "they understood none of these things; and this saying was hid
from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken." The meaning
of the words they could be at no loss to understand, but their import
in relation to His Messianic kingdom they could not penetrate; the
whole prediction being right in the teeth of their preconceived
notions. That they should have clung so tenaciously to the popular
notion of an "unsuffering" Messiah, may surprise us; but it
gives inexpressible weight to their after-testimony to a suffering and
Ambitious Request of James and John—The
Reply (Mr 10:35-45).
35. And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come
unto him, saying—Matthew (Mt 20:20) says their "mother came to Him with her
sons, worshipping Him and desiring," &c. (Compare Mt 27:56, with
Mr 15:40). Salome was her
16:1). We cannot be sure with
which of the parties the movement originated; but as our Lord, even in
Matthew's account, addresses Himself to James and John, taking no
account of the mother, it is likely the mother was merely set on by
them. The thought was doubtless suggested to her sons by the recent
promise to the Twelve of "thrones to sit on, when the Son of man should
sit on the throne of His glory" (Mt 19:28); but after the reproof so lately given
9:33, &c.) they get their
mother to speak for them.
Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us
whatsoever we shall desire—thus cautiously approaching the
36. And he said unto them, What would ye that I
should do for you?—Though well aware what was in their mind
and their mother's, our Lord will have the unseemly petition uttered
37. Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy
right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory—that
is, Assign to us the two places of highest honor in the coming kingdom.
The semblance of a plea for so presumptuous a request might possibly
have been drawn from the fact that one of the two usually leaned on the
breast of Jesus, or sat next Him at meals, while the other was one of
the favored three.
38. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye
ask—How gentle the reply to such a request, preferred at such
a time, after the sad announcement just made!
can ye drink of the cup that I drink
of?—To "drink of a cup" is in Scripture a figure for getting
one's fill either of good (Ps 16:5; 23:5; 116:13; Jer
16:7) or of ill (Ps
75:8; Joh 18:11; Re 14:10).
Here it is the cup of suffering.
and be baptized with the baptism that I am
baptized with?—(Compare for the language, Ps 42:7). The object of this question seems to
have been to try how far those two men were capable of the
dignity to which they aspired and this on the principle that he who is
able to suffer most for His sake will be the nearest to Him in His
39. And they said unto him, We can—Here
we see them owning their mother's petition for them as their own; and
doubtless they were perfectly sincere in professing their willingness
to follow their Master to any suffering He might have to endure. As for
James, he was the first of the apostles who was honored, and
showed himself able to be baptized with his Master's baptism of blood
2); while John, after
going through all the persecutions to which the infant Church was
exposed from the Jews, and sharing in the struggles and sufferings
occasioned by the first triumphs of the Gospel among the Gentiles,
lived to be the victim, after all the rest had got to glory, of a
bitter persecution in the evening of his days, for the word of God and
for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Yes, they were dear believers and
blessed men, in spite of this unworthy ambition, and their Lord knew
it; and perhaps the foresight of what they would have to pass through,
and the courageous testimony He would yet receive from them, was the
cause of that gentleness which we cannot but wonder at in His
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—No doubt this prediction, when
their sufferings at length came upon them, cheered them with the
assurance, not that they would sit on His right and left hand—for
of that thought they would be heartily ashamed—but that "if they
suffered with Him, they should be also glorified together."
40. But to sit on my right hand and on my left
hand in not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is
prepared—"of My Father" (Mt 20:23). The supplement which our translators
have inserted is approved by some good interpreters, and the proper
sense of the word rendered "but" is certainly in favor of it. But
besides that it makes the statement too elliptical—leaving too
many words to be supplied—it seems to make our Lord repudiate the
right to assign to each of His people his place in the kingdom of
glory; a thing which He nowhere else does, but rather the contrary. It
is true that He says their place is "prepared for them by His Father."
But that is true of their admission to heaven at all; and yet from His
great white throne Jesus will Himself adjudicate the kingdom, and
authoritatively invite into it those on His right hand, calling them
the "blessed of His Father"; so little inconsistency is there between
the eternal choice of them by His Father, and that public adjudication
of them, not only to heaven in general, but each to his own position in
it, which all Scripture assigns to Christ. The true rendering, then, of
this clause, we take it, is this: "But to sit on My right hand and on
My left hand is not Mine to give, save to them for whom it is
prepared." When therefore He says, "It is not Mine to give," the
meaning is, "I cannot give it as a favor to whomsoever I
please, or on a principle of favoritism; it belongs
exclusively to those for whom it is prepared," &c. And if this be
His meaning, it will be seen how far our Lord is from disclaiming the
right to assign to each his proper place in His Kingdom; that on the
contrary, He expressly asserts it, merely announcing that the principle
of distribution is quite different from what these petitioners
supposed. Our Lord, it will be observed, does not deny the
petition of James and John, or say they shall not occupy the
place in His kingdom which they now improperly sought:—for aught
we know, that may be their true place. All we are sure of is,
that their asking it was displeasing to Him "to whom all judgment is
committed," and so was not fitted to gain their object, but just the
reverse. (See what is taught in Lu 14:8-11). One at least of these brethren, as
Alford strikingly remarks, saw on the
right and on the left hand of their Lord, as He hung upon the tree, the
crucified thieves; and bitter indeed must have been the remembrance of
this ambitious prayer at that moment.
41. And when the ten heard it, they began to be
much displeased with James and John—or "were moved with
indignation," as the same word is rendered in Mt 20:24. The expression "began to be,"
which is of frequent occurrence in the Gospels, means that more passed
than is expressed, and that we have but the result. And can we blame
the ten for the indignation which they felt? Yet there was probably a
spice of the old spirit of rivalry in it, which in spite of our Lord's
recent lengthened, diversified, and most solemn warnings against it,
had not ceased to stir in their breasts.
42. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto
them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule—are
recognized or acknowledged as rulers.
over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them:
and their great ones exercise authority upon them—as
superiors exercising an acknowledged authority over inferiors.
43. But so shall it not be among you: but
whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister—a
44. And whosoever of you will be the
shall be—that is, "let him be," or
"shall be he who is prepared to be."
servant of all—one in the lowest
condition of service.
45. For even the Son of man came not to be
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for
many—"instead of many," that is, "In the kingdom about to be
set up, this principle shall have no place. All My servants shall there
be equal; and the only greatness known to it shall be the greatness of
humility and devotedness to the service of others. He that goes down
the deepest in these services of self-denying humility shall rise the
highest and hold the chiefest place in that kingdom; even as the Son of
man, whose abasement and self-sacrifice for others, transcending all,
gives Him of right a place above all!" As "the Word in the beginning
with God," He was ministered unto; and as the risen Redeemer in
our nature He now is ministered unto, "angels and authorities
and powers being made subject unto Him" (1Pe 3:22); but not for this came He hither. The
Served of all came to be the Servant of all; and His last act was the
grandest Service ever beheld by the universe of God—"He Gave His Life a Ransom for Many!", &c. "Many"
is here to be taken, not in contrast with few or with
all, but in opposition to one—the one Son of man
for the many sinners.
Mr 10:46-52. Blind
Bartimaeus Healed. ( = Mt 20:29-34; Lu
See on Lu 18:35-43.