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timidated and discouraged persons less ambitious; but they answer without hesitation.

They say unto him, We are able.

23. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, [and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with ;] but to sit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them, or, except to them," for whom it is prepared of my Father.

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Christ does not here mean to deny that he had a power of appointing to men their stations in heaven; for that would be inconsistent with what he is represented as saying in the book of Revelation, iii. 21. "to him that overcometh will I give to sit with me in my throne; even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne;" but he means that he could not give to any the chief places, except to those who were most eminent for their virtues; particularly, for their faith and fortitude: for it is such persons only who are entitled to the chief places, by the unalterable laws of God.


And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

Each of the disciples was ambitious of obtaining this honour for himself, and thought himself, probably, as well qualified for it as the sons of Zebedee. They were therefore extremely offended at their arrogance in asking it for themselves.


But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of

the Gentiles exercise dominion over them; rather, "lord it over them," and they that are great exercise authority upon them; rather, "exercise a harsh au thority over them."

The words in the original, in both clauses, convey the idea of an oppressive and tyrannical government.Christ, being displeased with that pride which made some of his disciples ambitious of worldly honour, and others of them jealous of superiority, calls them all together, in order to correct those false notions which they entertained of the honours they were to enjoy in his kingdom; telling them that they were of a totally opposite nature to what they imagined; consisting not in the power of exacting from others unlimited obedience, like that of earthly princes; but in the possession of talents for doing the most extensive good to mankind.

26. But it shall not be so, rather, "let it not be so," among you ; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, "your servant." And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant, or, "slave."

Since pre-eminence in my kingdom is only to be obtained by superiority in virtue, and particularly, in acts of beneficence; if any one wishes to be greatest, let him be more condescending and laborious than others in the services which he performs for his brethren; he will then obtain the highest honours; but these are honours which no one need envy him: for they consist only in pre-eminence in labour, condescension and self-denial; virtues, of which I have given an example in my own conduct.

28. Even as the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

For I have not undertaken my prophetic office with a view to any worldly benefit or honour, which I might derive from the attendance and services of mankind; but solely for the purpose of serving them, by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and instructing the ignorant and vicious. To this purpose I devote my time and attention, while I live, and for promoting the same grand and useful design I shall also die, laying down my life as a ransom or deliverance, i. e. the means of deliverance, for many: for my death, by affording a clear proof of my divine mission, and preparing the way for my resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven, will furnish men with the most powerful means for delivering them from subjection to sin, now, and from the fatal consequences of it in another world. This example of humility and usefulness do you learn to imitate, and then you will be esteemed worthy of sitting next to me in my kingdom. Because the word we here render ransom is sometimes applied to a price in money, or to some other valuable, paid, for the release of a captive slave or criminal, to him who had power over him, many have been led to consider the death of Christ as an equivalent price, paid by him unto the justice of God, for the release of sinful men from those penalties to which they were become obnoxious by transgressing his laws: but it is well known that words deviate much by use from their original signification, and that the New Testament, in particular, abounds in words and phrases, borrowed originally from the Mosaic institution, and applied only in a metaphorical sense to things under the Christian dispensation. This seems to be the case here, where Christ appears to have no intention of conveying to us the idea of a price at all, by calling his life a ransom; but only of its being an expedient to deliver mankind from a state of subjection and misery, particularly, sin and its consequenc

es: as a ransom is the means of deliverance, so is also the death of Christ, although in a very different way.

29. And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.

30. And behold two blind men, sitting by the way-side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.

These men had heard that Jesus had already performed a great many extraordinary cures, and therefore hoped that he would perform a miracle upon them.---As the loss of sight was a heavy calamity to them, they were very importunate in their request.

31. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should, "that they should," hold their peace; but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David!

The reason why the multitude charged them to be silent, probably, was because Jesus was talking to his disciples, as he walked along, and the noise of these men would prevent him from being heard.


And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye, "what do ye wish,” that I should do unto you?

Jesus knew what they wanted; but he put this question to them, that the surrounding multitude might be satisfied that they were blind, hearing it from their own lips, and being able to observe it themselves. The answer they made likewise manifested their faith to the surrounding multitude.

33. They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

34. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

By touching their eyes, Jesus showed that the miracle proceeded from himself.


1. In the conduct of the mother of the sons of Zebedee we have an example of the folly and weakness of parents, in seeking great things for their children. They wish them to become rich and great, and distinguished in the world, and for this purpose they will labour hard themselves, and earnestly importune others to grant their assistance; yea, they will go to the throne of God himself, and fervently implore the interposition of his Providence, to favour their designs, Justly may we apply to them the words of Christ; "ye know not what ye ask." Were they to obtain what you ask for them, it would prove their ruin.

Riches would make them luxurious and profligate; power, tyrannical and oppressive; and honour, proud and ambitious. Such a temper of mind, the usual effect of greatness, would be the heaviest misfortune that could befal them, and probably would end in their destruction. Let parents, then, learn to seek, in the first place, for their children not riches and honours, but virtue and piety, which make the noblest distinction among human creatures, and constitute true happiness: what

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