1. The natural human concern with status and importance is clearly one of the most fundamental instinct which must be unlearned by those who belong to God’s kingdom.
2. Whether the mother herself misguided by pride in her sons, made the request or from the personal ambition of the two disciples, the request was made with the brother’s full consent.
3. This story is also an indication that there were people other than the twelve travelling with the Lord during his ministry. The mother of the sons of Zebedee will be named among the women at the cross) 27: 56), and is presented there as one of ‘many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him (27: 55)
4. The place on the king’s right is traditionally that of highest honour and authority, but where two people are concerned that on the left is necessarily also included without any sense of inferiority (2 Kgs 22: 19). But true nature of Jesus’ kingship is such that they are ready to be crucified along with him one on the right and the other on the left.
5. Servant here means to be subservient, dependent on the master, owned, lacking any self-determination, at the mercy of their owner, expected to obey, powerless, with few legal rights, beaten, alienated from any legitimated social existence, without honour, despised by the elite etc.
I remember reading an anecdote from the online sermons of one of my professors. ‘It was in the afternoon, Stephen came running to his friend Mark who was having his lunch in the office and started gasping and panting heavily. ‘What happened to you’ asked Mark. You know after having a plate of Biryani (South Indian delicacy), I was coming out of the shop, a car stopped in front of the shop. A group of men with masks on their faces, started firing on all sides. Many got killed and very soon we were in the pool of blood. By God’s grace I was saved and I am here alive now’ told Stephen without a break. After a brief moment of silence Mark said to Stephen ‘So you went out to eat Biryani without me’ Jesus openly tells His disciples about his fate, which is the sole purpose of going to Jerusalem. There was no one among them who felt bad about what Jesus told them. Several times we are concerned with topics and issues which are very mean. The decision of our Holy Father to step down from the seat of greatest honour is one clear example of practicing humility and counting on things that really matter.
The Gospel of Matthew – R.T France
Matthew and the Margins – Warren Carter