What does Mark 10:37 mean?
ESV: And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
NIV: They replied, 'Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.'
NASB: They said to Him, 'Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.'
CSB: They answered him, "Allow us to sit at your right and at your left in your glory."
NLT: They replied, 'When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.'
KJV: 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.
NKJV: They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”
Verse Commentary:
Jesus and the disciples are not traveling into dangerous territory alone. They are followed by several women (Matthew 27:55–56) and others, at least some of whom are frightened (Mark 10:32) and expect things will not go well (John 11:16). They are crossing the Perean/Judaean border, nearing Jericho, on their way to Jerusalem. When they reach Jerusalem, Jesus will mount a donkey colt and ride into the city while people spread their cloaks and palm fronds on the ground, shouting, "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" (Mark 11:1–10). The intent to make Jesus king has been simmering at least since the feeding of thousands outside of Bethsaida (John 6:15), and it's reasonable to assume the disciples know about it and approve.

All of this combined is why James and John have reason to think Jesus will be soon coming into His kingdom. Jesus has only recently told them, after the interaction with the rich young ruler, that the Twelve will "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). James and John apparently want a higher seat at the proverbial table, despite Jesus' teaching that this presumption is likely to get you publicly humiliated (Luke 14:7–11).

The seat to the right of the king has long been one of an honored advisor (1 Kings 2:19; Psalm 110:1). Where Samuel says that Jonathan sat "opposite" King Saul and Abner sat "by Saul's side" (1 Samuel 20:25) the Jewish historian Josephus specifies that Jonathan sat on Saul's right and Abner on the left (Josephus, Antiquities, VI. Xi. 9).

James and John are two of Jesus' three closest friends, and they are willing to face what will come to make Jesus king (Mark 10:39). They think Jesus needs advisors, which would be correct if Jesus were "only" the Son of Man, presented with the everlasting dominion by the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13–14). In classical Judaism, the expression "son of man" merely refers to God's limited, mortal, human creation, not the Messiah. But Jesus is also the Son of God and God. And God does not need the counsel of man (Isaiah 40:13–14; Job 40:6–41:34).
Verse Context:
Mark 10:35–45 describes the arrogant request of James and John to have positions of power and authority in Jesus' coming kingdom. This comes after learning that Jesus values the powerless like women and children (Mark 10:1–16), that those with earthly power and wealth can have a hard time following God because they can tend to value their possessions more (Mark 10:17–22), and that part of Jesus' plan for His kingdom is to die a horrible death (Mark 10:32–34). Neither Luke nor John record this account, but Matthew adds that James and John's mother is involved in the request (Matthew 20:20–28).
Chapter Summary:
In this passage, Jesus again confronts the Pharisees by clarifying God's views on marriage and divorce. He reminds the disciples not to dismiss the spiritual perspective of children. This chapter also records Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler, who becomes an object lesson in why wealth makes it hard for people to rely on God. After this, Jesus deftly sets aside an arrogant request from James and John, and again predicts His impending death. Just prior to the triumphal entry of chapter 11, Jesus is sought out by Bartimaeus, whom He heals of blindness.
Chapter Context:
In between chapters 9 and 10, Jesus resumes His public teaching as He travels to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Luke 9:57—18:14; John 7—10). We meet Him here across the Jordan in Perea and follow as He makes His way west again to Jericho. This chapter surrounds a third prophecy of Jesus' death (Mark 10:32–34) with lessons on His value for those others often dismiss: women (Mark 10:1–12), the powerless (Mark 10:13–16), those who value God more than the world (Mark 10:17–31), servant-hearted leaders (Mark 10:35–45), and those with bold faith (Mark 10:46–52). Next is the triumphal entry and the beginning of Passion Week.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/26/2024 10:22:32 AM
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