Matthew 20:24
And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
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(24) Against the two brethren.—Literally, concerning, or about. The context shows that it was not a righteous indignation, as against that which was unworthy of true followers of Jesus, but rather the jealousy of rivals, angry that the two brothers should have taken what seemed an unfair advantage of our Lord’s known affection for them and for their mother.

Matthew 20:24-28. And when the ten heard it — It is likely they overheard the conversation; they were moved with indignation — Being not only equally desirous, but in their opinion equally deserving of the principal posts, they took it exceedingly amiss that Zebedee’s sons should have been so arrogant, and, it seems, expressed their resentment in words. But Jesus called them unto him, &c. — Jesus, being solicitous to cure that pride which made some of them ambitious and others jealous, called them unto him, and told them that his kingdom was not, as they imagined, of the same nature with the kingdoms of this world; and that the greatness of his disciples was not like the greatness of secular princes, which consists in reigning over others with absolute and despotic sway; but that the greatness of his disciples would consist in doing men all the good they possibly could by a continued course of humble laborious services, in imitation of their Master, whose greatness consisted, not in being ministered to by men, but in ministering to them as a servant, by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, instructing the ignorant, and laying down his life a ransom for the sins of many. This being the highest dignity in Christ’s kingdom, he might well tell the two brothers that they did not know what they were asking, when they begged the honour of filling the highest station in it. See Macknight.

20:20-28 The sons of Zebedee abused what Christ said to comfort the disciples. Some cannot have comforts but they turn them to a wrong purpose. Pride is a sin that most easily besets us; it is sinful ambition to outdo others in pomp and grandeur. To put down the vanity and ambition of their request, Christ leads them to the thoughts of their sufferings. It is a bitter cup that is to be drunk of; a cup of trembling, but not the cup of the wicked. It is but a cup, it is but a draught, bitter perhaps, but soon emptied; it is a cup in the hand of a Father, Joh 18:11. Baptism is an ordinance by which we are joined to the Lord in covenant and communion; and so is suffering for Christ, Eze 20:37; Isa 48:10. Baptism is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace; and so is suffering for Christ, for unto us it is given, Php 1:29. But they knew not what Christ's cup was, nor what his baptism. Those are commonly most confident, who are least acquainted with the cross. Nothing makes more mischief among brethren, than desire of greatness. And we never find Christ's disciples quarrelling, but something of this was at the bottom of it. That man who labours most diligently, and suffers most patiently, seeking to do good to his brethren, and to promote the salvation of souls, most resembles Christ, and will be most honoured by him to all eternity. Our Lord speaks of his death in the terms applied to the sacrifices of old. It is a sacrifice for the sins of men, and is that true and substantial sacrifice, which those of the law faintly and imperfectly represented. It was a ransom for many, enough for all, working upon many; and, if for many, then the poor trembling soul may say, Why not for me?The ten heard it - That is, the ten other apostles.

They were moved with indignation - They were offended at their ambition, and at their desire to be exalted above their brethren.

The word "it" refers not to what Jesus said, but to their request. When the ten heard the request which they had made they were indignant.

Mt 20:17-28. Third Explicit Announcement of His Approaching Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection—The Ambitious Request of James and John, and the Reply. ( = Mr 10:32-45; Lu 18:31-34).

For the exposition, see on [1331]Mr 10:32-45.

Mark 10:41. Here is not yet a word of Peter’s primacy, or any claim he put in for it; nor, it seemeth, had the others any apprehension of such an establishment, for then neither would James and John have put in for it, nor would all the disciples (among whom Peter was one) have been so displeased at the ambition of James and John; yet they seem to be sick of the same disease, and to have been displeased only that they had the start of the motion, and had put in their petition first.

And when they ten heard it,.... The other ten apostles, who either were within hearing the request made, and Christ's answer, or had by some means information of it:

they were moved with indignation against the two brethren; the two sons of Zebedee, James and John: they were not so much displeased with the mother of them, who asked the favour for them, as with her sons, knowing that they have put her upon making this motion to Christ; nor were they so much moved with indignation at the action, detesting all notions of superiority and preeminence; for they were all tinctured with the same carnal principle, and each was desirous of the chief place for himself; but they were angry, and out of all temper, that these two brethren should move for that, which they thought they had as good a right unto, as any of them: wherefore, as Mark says, "they began to be much displeased with" them, and to show their resentment, not only by their looks and gestures, but by words; and very probably they would have rose to very high words, and a downright quarrel, had not Christ interposed; as, from the following verse, it appears he did.

And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
Matthew 20:24. Ἠγανάκτησαν] Jealousy of the two disciples who were thus aspiring to be first. Euthymius Zigabenus: οἱ δέκα τοῖς δυσὶ μαθηταῖς ἐφθόνησαν, τῶν πρωτείων ἐφιεμένοις.

Matthew 20:24-28. Commotion in the disciple-circle.

24. they were moved with indignation] The indignation of the “Ten” displayed the same spirit and motive as the request of the sons of Zebedee. It seemed as if the jealousies and intrigues of an earthly court were breaking out among the disciples of Jesus.

Matthew 20:24. Οἱ δέκα, the ten) Amongst these was the candid Evangelist himself.—ἠγανάκτησαν, were indignant) They feared lest they should lose something[895] [i.e. lest James and John should gain something at their expense].

[895] Luke records a similar dispute as having arisen at the Last Supper, ch. Matthew 22:24.—Harm., p. 433.

Verse 24. - Were moved with indignation against (περί); concerning. "The ambition of one creates envy in others who partake of the same feeling" (I. Williams). The displeasure of the ten arose from their sharing in the ambitious desires which had prompted the request of the brothers. Peter does not appear prominently here, as guarding the position which Romanists assign to him. Matthew 20:24
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