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Mark 10:41

ESV And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John.
NIV When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
NASB Hearing this, the other ten began to feel indignant with James and John.
CSB When the ten disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John.
NLT When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.
KJV And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

What does Mark 10:41 mean?

Scholars presume that the disciples are irritated because James, John, and their mother (Matthew 20:20–21) have the audacity to ask for what the other ten want, as well. The text supports this as Jesus' words about servant leadership are addressed to all of them (Mark 10:42–45).

James—not John's brother, but the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and Jesus' half-brother through Mary—talks about what happens to a group when selfish desires rear their ugly heads. He says, "You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions" (James 4:2–3). The disciples don't get to the point of murder, but they do get angry. Personal ambition is not only unbecoming in Christian leadership, it also causes conflict in the church (Mark 9:50).

Church politics can strain the patience of the greatest saint. Unlike citizens subject to a civil government with strict laws, law enforcement, and a powerful leader, God expects members of His church to be both mature and loving. If another believer sins against us, we have instructions on how to gently confront them under the submission of church leadership (Matthew 18:15–20). God commissions the church to reprimand and, if necessary, punish those who refuse to repent (1 Corinthians 5:1–13). And while we are to submit to and honor church leadership (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:17), we are not to do so blindly (1 Timothy 5:19–20).
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