Matthew 20:1  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

CTR: The kingdom of heaven — Hence we know that it applies to the experiences of the Church during this Gospel age. We think it applies entirely to the present-life experiences of the Kingdom class, especially to those living at the close of this age.

Is like unto — This parable is difficult to interpret in such a way as to make all of its facts find fulfillment.

To hire laborers — Earnest, consecrated children of God throughout this Gospel age.

Into his vineyard — To faithfully spend their time and energy in his service.

Dummellow: This difficult parable is closely linked with what goes before, and can only be understood in connection with it. It rebukes the spirit of Peter’s enquiry (19:27), ‘We have left all and followed thee; what then shall we have?” The twelve through Peter had demanded a superlatively great reward because they had been called first and had laboured longest. Such a reward had been promised them, should they prove worthy of it. (19:28), though at the same time it was darkly hinted, that some outside the apostolic circle would prove in the end more worthy than some of the apostles (19:30).

Then follows the parable. It is a sermon on the text, ‘But many shall be last that are first, and first that are last,’ which opens (19:30) and closes it (20:16)

It is addressed primarily to the apostles. It teaches them that great as their merit and their reward undoubtedly are, there will  perhaps be others whose merit and reward will be equal or even greater.

Thus, St. Stephen (not as an apostle) was the first to gain the martyr’s crown St. Paul laboured ‘more abundantly than they all,’ Barnabas and James the Lord’s brother ranked with the leading apostles, and many great names in the subsequent history of the Church…have completely eclipsed the fame of the more obscure apostles.

The apostles were warned not to be jealous of the attainments and rewards of other followers of Christ, but to do their own work single-heartedly, and to leave the recompense to God.

Meyer: This parable originated in Peter’s question. He had seen the rich young man go away sorrowful, because he could not meet the test which had been put to him; and he contrasted with that great refusal the swift willingness with which he and his fellow Apostles had left all to follow the Lord Jesus.

“Take care,” said Jesus, “or your bargaining for the rewards of the Kingdom, will put you down among the lowest; while they who don’t bargain will come out at the top.” The last made no agreement; they came in at the eleventh hour, and were only too glad to take the vineyard path, leaving the vine owner to give what he thought right. The first “agreed,” taking care to strike a bargain of so much money for so much work. But they would have done better if they had left the payment to the grace of their employer. “For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed,” Rom_4:16, R.V.

Matthew 20:2  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:3  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

Matthew 20:4  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

Guzik: c. Early in the morning is literally “at dawn;” this was usually reckoned to be about 6:00 in the morning. The third hour was about 9 am; the sixth hour was about 12 noon; the eleventh hour was about 5:00 in the evening.

Whatever is right I will give you . . . whatever is right you will receive: The landowner promised the earliest workers a day’s wage (a denarius a day). The other workers hired through the day were not promised a specific wage, only whatever is right. He promised to reward all the later workers fairly.

Matthew 20:5  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

Matthew 20:6  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

Matthew 20:7  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

Matthew 20:8  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Matthew 20:9  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:10  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:11  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

Matthew 20:12  Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Matthew 20:13  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

Matthew 20:14  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

Guzik: They complained against the landowner: After being paid, the men hired first take up their complaint with the landowner – who reminds them that he has been completely fair to them (Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?), and rebuked them for their jealousy and resentment of the landowner’s generosity towards others.

i. The “evil eye” was a jealous, envious eye. The landowner asks the man if he is jealous because the landowner was generous to other people.

ii. “An evil eye was a phrase in use, among the ancient Jews, to denote an enviouscovetous man or disposition; a man who repined at his neighbour’s prosperity, loved his own money, and would do nothing in the way of charity for God’s sake.” (Clarke)

Matthew 20:15  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

Matthew 20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Guzik: 2. What the parable means and how it applies.
a. Peter, and all the disciples, knew they had given up a great deal to follow Jesus. Peter wanted to know what they would get in return. Jesus, through this parable assured Peter and the disciples that they will be rewarded – but the principle of many who are first will be last and the last first means that God may not reward as man expects.

b. This is the essence of God’s grace, when He rewards and blesses man according to His will and pleasure, not necessarily according to what men deserve.

i. The system of law is easy to figure out: you get what you deserve. The system of grace is foreign to us: God deals with us according to who He is, not according to who we are.

c. It is important to see that the landowner did not treat anyone unfairly, though he was more generous to some than to others. We can be assured that God will never, ever be unfair to us, though He may – for His own purpose and pleasure – bestow greater blessing on someone else who seems less deserving.

i. God’s grace always operates righteously. He never does anything unfair in grace. God will never be less than fair, but He reserves the right to be more than fair according to the pleasure and riches of His grace.

d. This parable is not a perfect illustration of God’s grace, because the principle of working and deserving is involved. Grace does not give us more blessing than we deserve – it gives blessing to us completely apart from the principle of deserving.

i. In this parable, Jesus shows that God can give to us out of the abundance of His goodness, completely apart from what we deserve.

ii. Living under grace is sort of a two edged sword. Under grace, we can’t come to God complaining, “Hey, don’t I deserve better than this?” because God will reply, “So, do you really want Me to give you what you deserve?”

e. So, the disciples should expect to be rewarded – but should not be surprised if, when rewards are distributed, God will reward others in unexpected ways.

CTR: Go ye also — During the Gospel age, our Lord has continually, through his mouthpieces in the Church, invited all believers to enter into his service.

Whatsoever is right — The exact, clear understanding of what the wages should be was mentioned only at the beginning.

The promise of the Kingdom was clearly understood by the early Church, but afterward was in the main lost sight of and not clearly enunciated.

The eleventh hour — The last hour. 5 p.m., only one hour before the labor of the day would cease. We are now just at the close of the Gospel day.

Standing idle — Waiting for an opportunity to enter the vineyard.

Meyer: This parable originated in Peter’s question. He had seen the rich young man go away sorrowful, because he could not meet the test which had been put to him; and he contrasted with that great refusal the swift willingness with which he and his fellow Apostles had left all to follow the Lord Jesus.

“Take care,” said Jesus, “or your bargaining for the rewards of the Kingdom, will put you down among the lowest; while they who don’t bargain will come out at the top.” The last made no agreement; they came in at the eleventh hour, and were only too glad to take the vineyard path, leaving the vine owner to give what he thought right. The first “agreed,” taking care to strike a bargain of so much money for so much work. But they would have done better if they had left the payment to the grace of their employer. “For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed,” Rom_4:16, R.V.

The supplementary caution-“But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first”-is administered in apparent reference to the spirit of the apostle’s question, which exhibits still some trace of mercenary motive, with something also of a disposition to self-congratulation. This general statement is illustrated by the parable immediately following it, a connection which the unfortunate division into chapters here obscures; and not only is an important saying of our Lord deprived in this way of its illustration, but the parable is deprived of its key, the result of which has been that many have been led astray in its interpretation. We cannot attempt to enter fully into the parable, but shall only make such reference to it as is necessary to bring out its appropriateness for the purpose our Lord had in view. Its main purport may be stated thus: many that are first in amount of work shall be last in point of reward; and many that are last in amount of work shall be first in point of reward. The principle on which this is based is plain enough: that in estimating the reward it is not the quantity of work done or the amount of sacrifice made that is the measure of value, but the spirit in which the work is done or the sacrifice made. The labourers who made no bargain at all, but went to work on the faith of their Master’s honour and liberality, were the best off in the end.

Those who made a bargain received, indeed, all they bargained for; but the others were rewarded on a far more liberal scale, they obtaining much more than they had any reason to expect. Thus we are taught that those will be first who think least of wages as wages, and are the least disposed to put such a question as, “What shall we then have?” This was the main lesson for the apostles, as it is for all who occupy places of prominence in the kingdom. It is thus put in later years by one of those who now for the first time learned it: “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward”. (2Jn_1:8) “Look to yourselves,” see that your spirit be right, that there be nothing selfish, nothing mercenary, nothing vainglorious; else much good labour and real self-denial may miss its compensation.

Besides the lesson of caution to the great ones, there is a lesson of encouragement to the little ones in the kingdom-those who can do little and seem to themselves to sacrifice little for Christ. Let such remember that their labour and self-denial are measured not by quantity but by quality, by the spirit in which the service, however small it be, is rendered, and the sacrifice, trifling as it seems, is made. Not only is it true that many that are first shall be last; but also that many of the last shall be first. “If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”

Neither in the general statement of our Lord, nor in the parable which illustrates it, is there the slightest encouragement to idlers in the vine-yard-to those who do nothing and sacrifice nothing for Christ, but who think that, when the eleventh hour comes, they will turn in with the rest, and perhaps come off best after all. When the Master of the vineyard asks of those who are standing-in the market-place at the eleventh hour, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” their answer is ready, “Because no man hath hired us.” The invitation came to them, then, for the first time, and they accepted it as soon as it was given them. Suppose the Master of the vineyard had asked them in the morning, and at the first hour and the second and the third, and so on all the day, and only at the eleventh hour did they deign to notice His invitation, how would they have fared?

Matthew 20:17  And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,

Matthew 20:18  Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,

Barnes: And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem – That is, doubtless, to the Passover. This journey was from the east side of Jordan. See the notes at Mat_19:1. At this time he was on this journey to Jerusalem, probably not far from Jericho. This was his last journey to Jerusalem. He was going up to die for the sins of the world.

Took the twelve disciples apart – All the males of the Jews were required to be at this feast, Exo_23:17. The roads, therefore, on such occasions, would probably be thronged. It is probable, also, that they would travel in companies, or that whole neighborhoods would go together. See Luk_2:44. By his taking them apart is meant his taking them aside from the company. He had something to communicate which he did not wish the others to hear. Mark adds: “And Jesus went before them, and they were amazed; and as they followed they were sore afraid.” He led the way. He had told them before Mat_17:22 that he should be betrayed into the hands of people and be put to death. They began now to be afraid that this would happen, and to be solicitous for his life and for their own safety, and they were amazed at his boldness and calmness, and at his fixed determination to go up to Jerusalem in these circumstances.

And they shall condemn him to death – They had not power to inflict death, as that power had been taken away by the Romans; but they had the power of expressing an opinion, and of delivering him to the Romans to be put to death. This they did, Mat_26:66; Mat_27:2.

Doddridge:Jesus took the twelve disciples apart in the way — See note on Mar_10:32-34. And said, The Son of man shall be betrayed, &c. — This is the sixth time that Jesus foretold his own sufferings; see Joh_2:19; Joh_2:21; Mat_16:21; Mat_17:12; Mat_17:22-23; Luk_17:25; and the fifth time that he foretold his resurrection. And the particular manner in which he signifies how he should suffer; that the Jews should mock him, as if he were a fool; scourge him, as if he were a knave; spit upon him, (Mar_10:34,) to express their abhorrence of him as a blasphemer; and crucify him as a criminal slave, is a “remarkable proof of the extraordinary measure of the prophetic spirit which dwelt in him. For, humanly speaking, it was much more probable that he should have been privately assassinated, or stoned, as was before attempted, by some zealous transport of popular fury, than that he should have been thus solemnly condemned, and delivered up to crucifixion; a Roman punishment, with which we do not find that he had ever been threatened. Indeed, when the Jews condemned him for blasphemy, for which the punishment appointed in the law was stoning; and Pilate, at last, gave them a general permission to take him, and judge him according to their own law, (Joh_18:31; and Joh_19:7,) it is wonderful they did not choose to stone him; but all this was done that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

Mark 10:33 MKJV  saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes. And they will condemn Him to death and will deliver Him to the nations.

Popular NT: See the parallel passage in Matthew (Mat_20:17-34). These events took place on the final journey to Jerusalem, from Perea through Jericho. The raising of Lazarus is, however, placed by some between the departure from Perea and this final journey.

Guzik: Jesus had already told His disciples that He would be crucified and rise again the third day (Mar_8:31). This is the first time in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus reveals that they will deliver Him to the Gentiles. This was an additional insult and betrayal.
“Delivery to the Gentiles reveals that Jesus will be held in contempt by his own countrymen, for the Gentiles are the last people to whom the Messiah of the people of God should be handed over.” (Lane)

Gill: and shall deliver him to the Gentiles; the Romans, to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor; either because they had not then power to put him to death themselves, or because they were desirous he should die the death of the cross, a Roman punishment.

Matthew 20:19  And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Guzik: The Son of Man will be betrayed: Seemingly, the disciples did not really listen when Jesus said these things. Their expectation was so focused on Jesus establishing an immediate political kingdom, and these words from Jesus were so contrary to that anticipation, these words just went over their heads.

Barnes: Shall deliver him to the Gentiles – That is, because they have not the right of inflicting capital punishment, they will deliver him to those who have to the Roman authorities. The Gentiles here means Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers. See Mat_27:2, Mat_27:27-30.

To scourge – That is, to whip. This was done with thongs, or a whip made for the purpose, and this punishment was commonly inflicted upon criminals before crucifixion. See the notes at Mat_10:17.

To crucify him – That is, to put him to death on a cross – the common punishment of slaves. See the notes at Mat_27:31-32.

The third day … – For the evidence that this was fulfilled, see the notes at Mat_28:15. Mark and Luke say that he would be spit upon. Spitting on another has always been considered an expression of the deepest contempt. Luke says Luk_18:31, “All things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” Among other things, he says he shall be “spitefully entreated;” that is, treated with spite or malice; malice, implying contempt. These sufferings of our Saviour, and this treatment, and his death, had been predicted in many places. See Isa_53:1-12; Dan_9:26-27.

Mark 10:34 MKJV  And they will mock Him, and will scourge Him, and will spit on Him, and will kill Him. And the third day He shall rise again.

Expositor’s: With a darkening heart Judas heard, and made his choice.

Guzik: Significantly, Jesus mentions the shame of His suffering. In His death, Jesus suffered the most terrible emotional humiliation, and it was done out of love for us.

This sharing in the shame of Jesus marked the early church, and was evidence of their commitment and strength. Act_5:41 says, So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. It’s not that the disciples rejoiced in the shame itself, because Jesus didn’t rejoice in the shame itself (Heb_12:2). Instead, they rejoiced in identifying with Jesus, and gladly suffered shame if they had to.

JFB: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again — Singularly explicit as this announcement was, Luke (Luk_18:34) says “they understood none of these things; and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” The meaning of the words they could be at no loss to understand, but their import in relation to His Messianic kingdom they could not penetrate; the whole prediction being right in the teeth of their preconceived notions. That they should have clung so tenaciously to the popular notion of an “unsuffering” Messiah, may surprise us; but it gives inexpressible weight to their after-testimony to a suffering and dying Savior.

Do you cling to your own ideas and totally miss what the Lord is saying?

Matthew 20:20  Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

Matthew 20:21  And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

Guzik: Grant that these two sons of mine may sit: She is really asking this question on behalf of her sons; we know this because of who Jesus replies to in Mat_20:22-23.

Barnes: Then came to him give mother of Zebedee’s children … – This was probably Salome, Mar_15:40; Mar_16:1.
With her sons – The names of these sons were James and John, Mar_10:35

Mark says they came and made the request. That is, they made it, as appears from Matthew, through the medium of their mother; they requested her to ask it for them. It is not improbable that she was an ambitious woman, and was desirous to see her sons honored.

Worshipping him – Showing him respect; respectfully saluting him. In the original, kneeling. See the notes at Mat_8:2.

Grant that these my two sons may sit … – They were still looking for a temporal kingdom.
They expected that he would reign on the earth with great pomp and glory. They anticipated that he would conquer as a prince and a warrior. They wished to be distinguished in the day of his triumph. To sit on the right and left hand of a prince was a token of confidence, and the highest honor granted to his friends, 1Ki_2:19; Psa_110:1; 1Sa_20:25. The disciples, here, had no reference to the kingdom of heaven, but only to the kingdom which they supposed he was about to set up on the earth.

CTR:With her sons — James and John, supposed to have been Jesus’ full cousins.

Gill:Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children,…. Whose name was Salome, as may be concluded from Mat_27:56 compared with Mar_15:40. She is not called the wife of Zebedee, who might be now dead, but the mother of his children, his two sons, as the Arabic version renders it: James and John, and who were the disciples of Christ: it is not certain, that Zebedee was ever a follower of him; and therefore the woman is described by her relation to her children, and not her husband; and the rather, because it was in their name, and on their account, that she came to Jesus. She is said to be the sister of Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of our Lord; and if so, might hope to succeed in her request, on the foot of relation; as also, since she herself had been a constant follower of, and attendant on him; and especially, inasmuch as her sons were his favourite disciples;

and desiring a certain thing of him; that is, she came in a very submissive manner to him, either bowed unto him, or kneeled down before him, or threw herself at his feet, and signified that she had a single favour, and a very considerable one, to ask of him. Mark represents the case thus, that her two sons, James and John, came to Christ, and that they themselves spoke to him, and addressed him in this manner: “Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us, whatsoever we shall desire”: which was a very odd request, both as to the matter and manner of it; that they should ask; and insist upon everything to be done for them, they desired; and suggest, that they expected that he would promise them this, before they declared the particular favour they had to ask of him. The matter may be reconciled thus. These two disciples, having observed what Christ had said concerning the twelve disciples sitting on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, and what he had just related, concerning his rising again the third day, which they might understand of some display of his glory; and concluding from all this, that the setting up of his temporal monarchy was at hand, inform their mother of it, and move to her, to use her interest with Christ, in their favour: and which they did, partly to shun the envy and ill will of the rest of the disciples; and partly, to conceal their own pride and vanity; as also, they might think a request from her, on their behalf, would be more easily granted: accordingly, she agreeing to the motion, they all three came, as Matthew relates, and the mother is the mouth, and speaks for her sons; so that they may be said to make such a request by her, she representing them; or they joined in the petition with her; or as soon as she had made it, they seconded it, and made it their own.

Mark 10:37 MKJV  They said to Him, Grant to us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left hand, in Your glory.

Guzik:  Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory: Despite the continual declaration of His coming suffering, the disciples are still thinking that when Jesus gets to Jerusalem, He will establish a political kingdom. Here, James and John are asking for positions of high status in Jesus’ administration – which they are certain, will be installed soon!

i. The place of honor is the seat on the right, and next to it, the seat on the left (1Ki_2:19, Psa_110:1). They were asking for the “number one” and the “number two” places in Jesus’ administration.

b. This is no doubt an outgrowth of the continual topic of conversation among the disciples: which one among them was the greatest (Mar_9:33-34). James and John feel confident they will be the greatest, so they ask Jesus to confirm their opinion by appointing them to high positions now.

CTR: Grant Unto us — They loved the Lord very dearly, and thought they could appreciate a nearness to him more than some of the others. 

That we may sit — Jesus appreciated their love for him, and their desire to be near him. Others might not care so much where they were placed, but James and John would like to be close to the Master. 

In thy glory — He had not told them his kingdom would be a spiritual one and that they would need the first resurrection change to be sharers of it; nor had he made it clear that a whole age would intervene before they would be made sharers in the kingdom. 

Do you want to be close to the Lord?

What are you doing about it?

Matthew 20:22  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

Mark 10:38 MKJV  But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you ask. Can you drink of the cup that I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

Guzik:  (Mar_10:38-41) Jesus’ reply: think in terms of sacrifice, not self-glory.

You do not know what you ask: Since James and John still worked under carnal ideas regarding the kingdom of God, they really had no idea what it would take to be great in the kingdom – but not because Jesus hadn’t told them!
b. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink: As it would turn out, both James and John took the cup and were baptized in suffering, but they each experienced it in different ways.

i. James was the first apostle to be martyred (Act_12:1-2). According to tradition, John was never martyred, though he survived an attempt to kill him by immersion in a vat of boiling oil (according to reasonably reliable church history).

ii. “In popular Greek usage the vocabulary of baptism was used to speak of being overwhelmed by disaster or danger, and a similar metaphorical use of submersion is present in Scripture.” (Lane) Passages like Psa_42:7, Psa_49:3, and Psa_69:2 reflect this idea.

CTR: But Jesus said — He did not reprove them for he read in their hearts their love and loyalty toward himself, and that their desire for the position was not merely for the honors and authority implied, but specially because this would bring them closer to himself. 

Ye know not — Do you know what it costs to get on the throne at all? At that time they could form no idea of the blessedness of being joined with Christ in his kingdom. 

Can ye drink — Are you able, are you willing, to pay the cost of getting on the throne? Will you carry out fully the covenant of consecration to death which you made and on account of which you are reckoned as members of my Body? If this is your will, I will test you, to make your calling and election sure. 

It meant, Are ye willing? because it would be impossible for the disciples to have known their own ability, except in the sense of having confidence in God that he would give the ability.

All who would sit in the throne must drink of the cup. All who will faithfully drink of the cup shall sit in the throne. The privilege of drinking of “the cup” is offered only during the Gospel age.

Of the cup — This cup of self-denial and self-sacrifice with Jesus signifies our participation in the blood of the New Covenant–in providing the wherewithal for the sealing of the New Covenant. 

Be baptized — Baptism into death is the real baptism for the Church, as it was the real baptism for our Lord; water baptism is only the symbol. Only by sharing in his baptism into death could they hope to sit with him in his throne.

With the baptism — The baptism unto death. The baptism of their wills into his will and the Father’s will.

That I am baptized with — Into my death–to self-will, to cutting off from every earthly privilege, if such be God’s providence for you. No reference to water baptism, but to his baptism into death, of which he spoke a few days later, saying, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened until it be accomplished.” (Luk_12:50) Cup of ignominy and suffering.

That I drink of — Ours must be the same “cup,” his cup, else we shall have neither part not lot in his kingdom glory. Jesus’ “cup” was the one to which he elsewhere referred, saying, “The cup which my Father hath poured for me, shall I not drink it?” (Joh_18:11)

Are you able and willing to pay the cost of getting on the throne?

Clarke: And to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized, etc. – This clause in this, and the next verse, is wanting in BDL, two others, (7 more in Mat_20:23), Coptic, Sahidic, Ethiopic, Mr. Wheelock’s Persic, Vulgate, Saxon, and all the Itala, except two. Grotius, Mill, and Bengel, think it should be omitted, and Griesbach has left it out of the text in both his editions. It is omitted also by Origen, Epiphanius, Hilary, Jerome, Ambrose, and Juvencus. According to the rules laid down by critics to appreciate a false or true reading, this clause cannot be considered as forming a part of the sacred text. It may be asked, Does not drink of my cup, convey the same idea? Does the clause add any thing to the perspicuity of the passage? And, though found in many good MSS., is not the balance of evidence in point of antiquity against it? Baptism among the Jews, as it was performed in the coldest weather, and the persons were kept under water for some time, was used not only to express death, but the most cruel kind of death. See Lightfoot. As to the term cup, it was a common figure, by which they expressed calamities, judgments, desolation, etc.

They say unto him, We are able – Strange blindness! You can? No: one drop of this cup would sink you into utter ruin, unless upheld by the power of God. However, the man whom God has appointed to the work he will preserve in it.

Barnes:Ye know not what ye ask – You do not know the nature of your request, nor what would be involved in it.
You suppose that it would be attended only with honor and happiness if the request was granted, whereas it would require much suffering and trial.

Are ye able to drink of the cup … – To drink of a cup, in the Scriptures, often signifies to be afflicted, or to be punished, Mat_26:39; Isa_51:17, Isa_51:22; Psa_73:10; Psa_75:8; Jer_25:15; Rev_16:9. The figure is taken from a feast, where the master of a feast extends a cup to those present. Thus God is represented as extending to his Son a cup filled with a bitter mixture – one causing deep sufferings, Joh_18:11. This was the cup to which he referred.

The baptism that I am baptized with – This is evidently a phrase denoting the same thing. Are ye able to suffer with me – to endure the trials and pains which shall come upon you and me in endeavoring to build up my kingdom? Are you able to bear it when sorrows shall cover you like water, and you shall be sunk beneath calamities as floods, in the work of religion? Afflictions are often expressed by being sunk in the floods and plunged in deep waters, Psa_69:2; Isa_43:2; Psa_124:4-5; Lam_3:54.

Mark 10:39 MKJV  And they said to Him, We can. And Jesus said to them, You shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized with you shall be baptized.

Guzik:  You will indeed drink the cup that I drink: When Jesus said this, perhaps a big smile came over the face of James and John. They thought they had won something, and so did the other disciples (when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John). However, it is doubtful that Jesus smiled, because He knew what the baptism they asked for was all about.

CTR:  We can — We are willing; we will sacrifice everything to follow in your footsteps. They had no thought that he wished them to be baptized again in water; they understood well that it was the baptism of their wills into his will and the Father’s will. 

Ye shall indeed — Whoever of his called ones are willing at heart for these experiences, the Lord will grant them the privilege, and also the assistance. Willingness on the part of all is as much as the Lord could reasonably require of his disciples. We have not the power that he possessed; we are sinners by nature. He assured them and us that he will furnish trials and assistances, and that if faithful to the end, we shall have a crown of life.

Drink of the cup — The juice of the grape not only speaks of crushing till blood comes forth, but also of an after refreshment.

A wholly different matter from justification by faith. They were already justified by faith, but could not sit on the throne unless they would be sanctified by participation in Christ’s death. Whoever will be successful as a disciple of Christ in attaining to joint-heirship with the Master must first of all demonstrate a loyalty and faithfulness in respect to suffering with the Master.

Shall ye be baptized — The Master’s baptism meant the full renunciation of all earthly rights.

Matthew 20:23  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 for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Barnes: Ye shall indeed drink of my cup … – You will follow me, and you will partake of my afflictions, and will suffer as I shall.

This was fulfilled. James was slain with the sword by Herod, Act_12:2. John lived many years; but he attended the Saviour through his sufferings, and was himself banished to Patmos, a solitary island, for the testimony of Jesus Christ – a companion of others in tribulation, Rev_1:9.

Is not mine to give … – The translation of this place evidently does not express the sense of the original. The translation expresses the idea that Jesus has nothing to do in bestowing rewards on his followers. This is at variance with the uniform testimony of the Scriptures, Mat_25:31-40; Joh_5:22-30. The correct translation of the passage would be, “To sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, except to those for whom it is prepared by my Father.” The passage thus declares that Christ would give rewards to his followers, but only to such as should be entitled to them according to the purpose of his Father. Much as he might be attached to these two disciples, yet he could not bestow any such signal favors on them out of the regular course of things. Rewards were prepared for his followers, and in due time they should be bestowed. He would bestow them according as they had been provided from eternity by God the Father, Mat_25:34. The correct sense is seen by leaving out that part of the verse in italics, and this is one of the places in the Bible where the sense has been obscured by the introduction of words which have nothing to correspond with them in the original. See a similar instance in 1Jn_2:23.

Guzik: a. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink:
Their answer (“We are able”) seems to come a little too quick. Jesus recognized that they didn’t really understand, but they would.

You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: Both James and John had to be baptized in suffering as Jesus was, but their “cups” and “baptisms” were different. James was the first martyr among the apostles, and John was the only apostle to not die through martyrdom – though not from a lack of trying.

CTR: Ye shall drink — The apostles could not actually drink of the Redeemer’s cup until he, as their Advocate, should appear in the presence of God for them. Jesus guaranteed that, being willing, they should have these experiences; continuing willing, continuing to suffer with him here, they should reign with him in his throne. Those who drink will share with him in the glories of the future. Jesus, in turn, pledged that they should indeed be able to carry it out. He assured them and us that he will furnish trials and assistances, and that, if faithful to the end, we shall have a crown of life.

There is no doubt–if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, a life of obedience, we shall suffer.

My cup — Share with him in his sacrifice–not a different cup, not a different sacrifice. The same cup represented in the Communion service. Also signifies a share in his glories, honors and immortality, the new wine with him in the Kingdom. Those who drink of his cup are specially loved of the Father.

And be baptized — If we have indicated our willingness, we have his promise that the ability will be supplied.

Sit on my right hand — Be associated thus intimately with me on my throne.

Not mine to give — Positions in the Kingdom of heaven will be awarded according to the degree of development of the fruits of the holy Spirit. This means a love which will lead to zeal in the Lord’s service.

For whom it is prepared — Reserved for overcomers. At that time it yet remained to be proved whether these would be faithful to their covenant.

Of my Father — According to the standards which the Father has prepared and established.

CTR: For whom it is prepared — It shall be reserved for whom the Father has arranged it; and the Father has arranged it along the lines of justice. Places in the Millennial kingdom are not to be given on the score of mercy or favoritism, but absolutely, on the score of quality.

Wesley: Save to them for whom it is prepared – Them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality. For these only eternal life is prepared. To these, only he will give it in that day; and to every man his own reward, according to his own labour.

Matthew 20:24  And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

Mark 10:41 MKJV  And when the ten heard, they began to be indignant with James and John.
 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John — or “were moved with indignation,” as the same word is rendered in Mat_20:24. The expression “began to be,” which is of frequent occurrence in the Gospels, means that more passed than is expressed, and that we have but the result. And can we blame the ten for the indignation which they felt? Yet there was probably a spice of the old spirit of rivalry in it, which in spite of our Lord’s recent lengthened, diversified, and most solemn warnings against it, had not ceased to stir in their breasts.

Gill: they began to be much displeased with James and John; Matthew says “they were moved with indignation against them”, Mat_20:24; they were filled with, wrath and were very angry with them; which they showed in their countenances and by their behaviour towards them as well as by words: the Syriac and Arabic versions, render it, “they began to murmur against them”; they highly resented it and were ready to break out into an open quarrel upon it; See Gill on Mat_20:24.

How would you have reacted? And Why?

Barnes: 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.

Gill: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.

PNT: They were sore displeased concerning. This displeasure was no more praiseworthy than the ambition of the two, and was speedily discountenanced (comp. Mar_10:41-42).

Matthew 20:25  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

Benson: 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.

MacLaren: The two had had their lesson, and next the Ten were to have theirs. The conversation with the former had been private, for it was hearing of it that made the others so angry. We can imagine the hot words among them as they marched behind Jesus, and how they felt ashamed already when ‘He called them.’ What they were to be now taught was not so much the qualifications for pre-eminence in the kingdom, whether here or hereafter, as the meaning of preeminence and the service to which it binds. In the world, the higher men are, the more they are served; in Christ’s kingdom, both in its imperfect earthly and in its perfect heavenly form, the higher men are, the more they serve. So-called ‘Christian’ nations are organised on the former un-Christian basis still. But wherever pre-eminence is not used for the general good, there authority rests on slippery foundations, and there will never be social wellbeing or national tranquillity until Christ’s law of dignity for service and dignity by service shapes and sweetens society.

Guzik:  (Mar_10:42-45) Jesus describes true greatness.

Those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them: Their desire for position and status showed they didn’t know the nature of Jesus yet, in respect to leadership and power. Those who exercise power or authority in the church today as “lording it over” others still don’t understand the Jesus style of leadership and life.

Barnes: The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them – That is, over their subjects. “You know that such honors are customary among nations. The kings of the earth raise their favorites to posts of trust and power they give authority to some over others; but my kingdom is established in a different manner. All are to be on a level. The rich, the poor, the learned, the unlearned, the bond, the free, are to be equal. He will be the most distinguished that shows most humility, the deepest sense of his unworthiness, and the most earnest desire to promote the welfare of his brethren.”

CTR: Exercise authority — The Church of Christ has probably suffered more from pride and ambition for leadership than from any other one cause. R1883:6

Many have lorded it over God’s heritage; our Lord had this class in mind.

Matthew 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

Mark 10:43 MKJV  But it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant.

Guzik: Yet it shall not be so among you is a stinging rebuke to the manner in which the modern church looks to the world for both its substance and style. Plainly, the church isn’t to operate the way the world does.

Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant: In the Kingdom community, status, money, popularity are not the prerequisites for leadership. Humble service is the greatest (and only) prerequisite, as displayed by Jesus’ own ministry.
Not be among you — He who serves most and not he who lords it most should have the chief respect of the Lord’s people. Esteem and honor one another in proportion as you find in each other unselfish sacrificing love and service.

Whosoever will be great — Esteemed in proportion to their service, and not in proportion to their titles, their priestly vestments, or their praise among men.

Minister –– Greek: diakonos; deacon, servant. Whichever one will serve the others most will thereby be demonstrating to God a greater fitness for a higher place.

Do you like to serve others or to have others serve you?

Barnes:Minister – A servant. The original word is deacon – a word meaning a servant of any kind; one especially who served at the table, and, in the New Testament, one who serves the church, Act_6:1-4; 1Ti_3:8. Preachers of the gospel are called minister’s because they are the servants of God and of the church 1Co_3:5; 1Co_4:1; 2Co_3:6; 2Co_6:4; Eph_4:12; an office, therefore, which forbids them to lord it over God’s heritage, which is the very opposite of a station of superiority, and which demands the very lowest degree of humility.

Matthew 20:27  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Matthew 20:28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Guzik: Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve: Real ministry is done for the benefit of those ministered to, not for the benefit of the minister. Many people are in the ministry for what they can receive (either materially or emotionally) from their people instead of for what they can give.

Barnes:Even as the Son of man … – See the notes at Mat_8:20. Jesus points them to his own example. … He came to people in the form of a servant, Php_2:7. He came not with pomp and glory, but as a man in humble life; and since he came he had not required them to minister to him. “He labored for them.” He strove to do them good. He provided for their needs; fared as poorly as they did; went before them in dangers and sufferings; practiced self-denial on their account, and for them was about to lay down his life. See Joh_13:4-5.

To give his life a ransom for many – The word “ransom” means literally a price paid for the redemption of captives. In war, when prisoners are taken by an enemy, the money demanded for their release is called a ransom; that is, it is the means by which they are set at liberty. So anything that releases anyone from a state of punishment, or suffering, or sin, is called a ransom. People are by nature captives to sin. They are sold under it. They are under condemnation, Eph_2:3; Rom_3:9-20, Rom_3:23; 1Jn_5:19. They are under a curse, Gal_3:10. They are in love with sin They are under its withering dominion, and are exposed to death eternal, Eze_18:4; Psa_9:17; Psa_11:6; Psa_68:2; Psa_139:19; Mat_25:46; Rom_2:6-9. They must have perished unless there had been some way by which they could he rescued. This was done by the death of Jesus – by giving his life a ransom.

Mark 10:45 MKJV  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Guzik: Real ministry is done for the benefit of those ministered to, not for the benefit of the minister. Many people are in the ministry for what they can receive (either materially or emotionally) from their people instead of for what they can give.

d. And to give His life a ransom for many: This is one of the great claims Jesus made about Himself and His ministry. He is the one who stands in the place of guilty sinners, and offers Himself as a substitute for them.

i. “The ransom metaphor sums up the purpose for which Jesus gave his life and defines the complete expression of his service. The prevailing notion behind the metaphor is that of deliverance by purchase, whether a prisoner of war, a slave, or a forfeited life is the object to be delivered. Because the idea of equivalence, or substitution, was proper to the concept of a ransom, it became an integral element in the vocabulary of redemption in the OT. It speaks of a liberation which connotes a servitude or an imprisonment from which man cannot free himself.” (Lane)

CTR: For even the Son — The Lord did not have one standard for his followers and another standard for himself. As therefore my greatest service towards you renders me your chief, so shall it be among you.

Came — Proof positive that in exchanging the higher nature for the human nature our Lord had not given his life as a ransom, but merely made the preparation for that work. 

But to minister — To serve others. The key to  Mark’s Gospel where Christ is shown as a worker. In Matthew he is described as a King (Mat_1:1); in Luke as a philanthropist (Luk_19:10); and in John as God manifested (Joh_20:31).

To give — If we were bought, something was given for us, and to some one.

His life — Greek: psuche; soul, being. The life Jesus gave was all the life he possessed–it was his life.

“The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (Joh_10:11)

A ransom — The Greek term rendered ransom is lutron-anti, a price to offset or to correspond. In 1Ti_2:6 it is the same expression reversed. To recover by paying a price. Jesus was the only one who could be the corresponding price for Adam. The death of Jesus was the giving of the price.

Thus bringing life to light. (2Ti_1:10)

As Adam, through disobedience, forfeited his being, so Christ Jesus, as a corresponding price, paid a full and exact offset for Adam’s soul or being.

For many – It was not for his own sins that he died, it was for ours. In dying he gave himself a ransom price–a corresponding price–for the sins of the whole world.

Do you appreciate what Jesus did?

Do you follow his manner of laying down your life for your brethren?

Matthew 20:29  And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.

Gill: And as they departed from Jericho,…. Which, was distant about ten parsas, or miles, from Jerusalem (i), through which Christ just passed, and had met with Zacchaeus, and called him, and delivered the parable concerning a nobleman’s going into a far country. The Syriac and Persic versions render the words, “when Jesus departed from Jericho”; and the Arabic, “when he went out of Jericho”; not alone, but “with his disciples”, as Mark says; and not with them only, for a great multitude followed him out of the city; either to hear him, or be healed by him, or to see him, or behold his miracles, or to accompany him to Jerusalem; whither he was going to keep the feast of the passover, and where they might be in some expectation he would set up his kingdom. The Ethiopic version reads it, “as they went out from Jerusalem”, contrary to all copies and versions.

Barnes: As they departed from Jericho – Luke says, “As he was come nigh unto Jericho.” The original word used in Luke, translated “was come nigh,” commonly expresses approach to a place, but it does not of necessity mean that always. It may denote nearness to a place, whether going to it or from it. It would be rendered here correctly, “when they were near to Jericho,” or when they were in the vicinity of it, without saying whether they were going to it or from it. Matthew and Mark say they were going from it. The passage in Luk_19:1 – “and Jesus entered and passed through Jericho” – which seems to be mentioned as having taken place after the cure of the blind man, does not necessarily suppose that. That passage might be intended to be connected with the account of Zacchaeus, and not to denote the order of time in which these events took place; but simply that as he was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus sought to see him, and invited him to his house. Historians vary in the circumstances and order of events. The main facts of the narrative are observed; and such variations of circumstances and order, where there is no palpable contradiction, show the honesty of the writers – show that they did not conspire together to deceive, and are in courts of justice considered as confirmations of the truth of the testimony.

Matthew 20:30  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.

Matthew 20:31  And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

Benson: And as they departed from Jericho — As he went out of Jericho with his disciples: (Mark,) behold two blind men — Mark and Luke mention only one of them, blind Bartimeus, who, it seems, was far the more eminent of the two, and spoke for both. These blind men, hearing the multitude pass by, asked what it meant, (Luk_18:36,) and being told that Jesus of Nazareth passed by, they cried, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. The multitude rebuked them, because, &c. — The original words in this place, επετιμησεν αυτοις ινα σιωπησωσιν, should rather be rendered, charged them to hold their peace — And so they will rebuke and charge all who begin to cry after the son of David: but let all those who feel their need of him, and want help from him, imitate these blind men, and cry the more, otherwise they will fall short of a cure.

Guzik: When they heard that Jesus was passing by: They knew this might be their last time to meet Jesus. They had the desperation appropriate for those who know that today is the day of salvation.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David! The earnestness of these men is marvelous; they are desperate to be healed, and ignore the crowd trying to quiet them (they cried out all the more).

However, in their desperation, they glorify Jesus. They ascribe to Him full honor with the title Lord, Son of David.

Barnes:Heard that Jesus passed by – They learned who he was by inquiring. They heard a noise, and asked who it was (Luke). They had doubtless heard much of his fame, but had never before been where he was, and probably would not be again. They were therefore more earnest in calling upon him.

Son of David – That is, “Messiah,” or “Christ.” This was the name by which the Messiah was commonly known. He was the illustrious descendant of David in whom the promises especially centered, Psa_132:11-12; Psa_89:3-4. It was the universal opinion of the Jews that the Messiah was to be the descendant of David. See Mat_22:42. On the use of the word son, see the notes at Mat_1:1.

And the multitude rebuked them because … – They chid or reproved them, and in a threatening manner told them to be silent.

They cried the more – Jesus, standing still, ordered them to be brought to him (Mark)
His friends then addressed the blind men and told them that Jesus called (Mark). Mark adds that Bartimeus cast away his garment, and rose and came to Jesus. “The garment” was not his only raiment, but was the outer garment, thrown loosely over him, and commonly laid aside when persons labored or ran. See the notes at Mat_5:40. His doing it denoted haste and earnestness in order to come to Jesus.

Mark 10:46 MKJV  And they came to Jericho. And as He with His disciples and a large crowd went out of Jericho, blind Bartimeus, the son of Timeus, was sitting by the side of the highway, begging.

Robertson’s: Bartimaeus (Bartimaios). Aramaic name like Bartholomew, bar meaning son like Hebrew ben. So Mark explains the name meaning “the son of Timaeus” (ho huios Timaiou). Mark alone gives his name while Mat_20:30 mentions two which see for discussion.

Blind beggar (tuphlos prosaitēs), “begging” (epaitōn) Luke has it (Luk_18:35). All three Gospels picture him as sitting by the roadside (ekathēto para tēn hodon). It was a common sight. Bartimaeus had his regular place. Vincent quotes Thomson concerning Ramleh: “I once walked the streets counting all that were either blind or had defective eyes, and it amounted to about one-half the male population. The women I could not count, for they are rigidly veiled” (The Land and the Book). The dust, the glare of the sun, the unsanitary habits of the people spread contagious eye-diseases.

CTR:Went out of Jericho — Possibly going from the old city to the newer one of the same name.

With — With the Lord and his apostles were a considerable number of friends, together with numerous Pharisees.

A great number of people — It was the Passover season, and many were journeying in the same direction with Jesus–toward Jerusalem.

Blind Bartimaeus — His persistency was the evidence of his faith and that he was of sincere heart.
There were many blind in Palestine, yet only comparatively few received such a blessing, undoubtedly because few had the requisite faith.  Mark mentions only one, the chief subject of the lesson, but Matthew mentions a companion.

That physical blindness is a terrible affliction none will question. But how much more serious is the mental and spiritual blindness which prevails. Many are blind as respects the beauties of the Bible. Some are so deeply engrossed in business or pleasure-seeking that they never lift up their eyes to the glorious beauties of nature. Some heathen are pictured as blind, seeking the Lord, “if haply they might feel after him and find him.” (Act_17:27)

The world still lies in darkness. Only the few now get their eyes open, as did Bartimaeus. They are people of special character, willing to ignore the general sentiment of those who bid them be quiet and continue in ignorance, blindness.

By the highway side — Hoping to excite sympathy of the passers-by.

Mark 10:47 MKJV  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!

Mark 10:48 MKJV  And many warned him that he should be quiet, but he cried a great deal more, Son of David, have mercy on me!

Guzik: He cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me. The persistent and energetic nature of Bartimaeus’ prayer is a good example of prayer. He wasn’t discouraged because no one led him to Jesus. He wasn’t discouraged by those who told him to stay away.
Have mercy on me! The blind man knew what he needed from Jesus – mercy. He didn’t come thinking that God owed him. All he wanted from Jesus is mercy.

CTR: He began to cry out — Some heathen, desirous of having the light of truth, are as blind men groping, crying out to the Lord in prayer, “feeling after God, if haply they might find him.” (Act_17:27)  

Thou Son of David — Of special significance to the Jews of that day–the great King was prefigured by Solomon, David’s son.  

Have mercy on me — Our Lord paid no attention at first, but passed on.

Many charged him — Those in the forefront of Jesus’ company rebuked him, intimating that the great Teacher should not be interrupted by a wayside beggar. 

Hold his peace — When the spiritually blinded cry for help there are sure to be some even amongst the Lord’s friends to rebuke them instead of to encourage. 

The thought is suggested that many are more worthy to have the Master’s attention, that we are too insignificant, too sinful, for him to recognize. 

He cried the more — An evidence of his faith, the persistency which belongs to true faith. He would not listen to those who sought to still his voice and turn aside his faith. He longed for sight, and had faith to believe that the great Messiah might be prevailed upon to rescue him from darkness. 

Son of David — As High Priest, Jesus was prefigured by Aaron; as Law-giver, by Moses; and as King, by Solomon, David’s son. 

Benson:he began to cry out, Jesus, thou son of David, &c. — Our Lord’s name was no sooner mentioned than this blind man, who was well acquainted with his fame, conceived hopes of obtaining a cure; and being deeply impressed with a sense of his own affliction, he cried out so vehemently that the people rebuked him, as they will not fail to rebuke all who, from a sense of their guilt, depravity, and misery, cry after the Saviour of sinners.
But he cried the more a great deal — An example worthy to be imitated by those who are concerned to obtain the cure of their spiritual diseases.

Hawker: The fourth particular worthy our regard in the case, is the conduct of the people who endeavoured to stop his cry. What a striking representation this is of what is every day going on in the world. No sooner is a child of GOD brought under serious concern for his everlasting welfare, but false friends to poor sinners, and true enemies to the rich Savior, aim to stifle all conviction, and crush the infant desire of salvation at once in the soul. Oh! what sharp exercises have some gracious souls gone through, in their first awakenings from their carnal relations and neighbours, before that CHRIST hath been formed in the heart the hope of glory.

Popular NT: Notice the contrast between the title given by the curious crowd: the Nazarene (the form used by Mark, and with one exception by him alone), and that in the cry of the blind beggar: Son of David (Messiah).

How much do you desire the Lord’s mercy?

What will you do to get it?

Have you ever been guilty of judging who is worthy of the Mercy of the Lord?

Matthew 20:32  And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?

Matthew 20:33  They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

Matthew 20:34  So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Mark 10:49 MKJV  And Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying to him, Be of good comfort; rise up, He is calling you.

Popular NT: Call ye him. Peculiar in this form to Mark, and omitted altogether by Matthew. This was a ‘reproof to the reprovers.’ It seems to have had an effect, for the words now addressed to the blind man are full of sympathy: Be of good cheer, rise, he calleth thee. The order is that of kindness, faith would put: ‘He calleth thee’ first. The forbidding and the cheering address represent the priestly spirit which would keep men from applying directly to Christ, and the true spirit of the Gospel messengers.

Russell: Jesus stood still — He had already passed Bartimaeus by, not offering to heal him. His eyesight was restored because of his faith, because he cried out. 

And commanded him — He did not shout for him to come, but commanded, “Let him be brought.”
To be called — Giving those about him an opportunity to share in the work of blessing. 

They call — The people first of all bade Bartimaeus keep quiet; but when Jesus called him, they joined in giving words of encouragement and helping the blind man to the Savior. So we should encourage the blind, the superstitious, to come to the Savior. Thus greater attention was brought to the whole miracle and to the divine power which it manifested.

Be of good comfort — Those who had, a moment before, upbraided the blind man for his temerity in expecting a blessing from the Messiah, now gladly bore the message of hope to him. Generally they are without encouragement until they realize their need and cry to the Lord. These now find assistance from those who delight to assist them.

He calleth thee — He bade the blind man to come to him, to show his faith, and thus be a more important lesson to the multitude. It is not within our power to give sight to the spiritually blind. All we can do is let the blind ones know that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Do you let the blind ones know that Jesus passes by?

Mark 10:50 MKJV  And casting away his garment, he rose up and came to Jesus.

Vincents: Rose (ἀναστὰς) The best texts read ἀναπήδησας leaped up, or, as Rev., sprang up.

Meyer: With us as with Bartimaeus, obstacles and difficulties should not daunt, but rather incite to more eager prayers. Christ is ever saying to men-Courage! Only faith could make a blind man cast away his garment, but he knew that he would be able to find it again with the sight that Jesus would certainly bestow.

Barnes:Casting away his garment – That is, his outer garment – the one that was thrown loosely over him. See the notes at Mat_5:40. He threw it off, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, and that he might run without impediment to Jesus. This may be used to illustrate – though it had no such original reference – the manner in which a sinner should come to Jesus. He should throw away the garments of his own righteousness – he should rise speedily – should run with joy – should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon his mercy.

MacLaren: Bartimaeus springs to his feet at once with a bound. So we should leap to meet Jesus, our sight-giver. How slothful and languid we often are. We do not put half as much heart into our Christian life as people do into common things. Far more pains are taken by a ballet-dancer to learn her posturing than by most Christians to keep near Christ.

What lessons do you get from this account?

Mark 10:51 MKJV  And answering Jesus said to him, What do you desire that I should do to you? The blind man said to Him, My Lord, that I may see again.

Guzik:What do you want Me to do for you? Why did Jesus ask this question? Wasn’t it obvious? Yet, there was real power in both the asking, and in the answer of Jesus. God may ask us the same question, and we should be able to articulate an answer that glorifies Him.

d. Rabboni, that I may receive my sight: The title Rabboni “is a strengthened form of ‘Rabbi,’ and means ‘my lord,’ ‘my master.’“ (Lane) When Bartimaeus said this, he expressed his humble submission towards Jesus.

i. The specific nature of Bartimaeus’ request is a good example for our prayers. “Have mercy on me” is general, but his prayer moved from the general to the specific request, “that I may receive my sight.”

ii. “Rest assured that those are the best prayers in all respects, if they be earnest and sincere, which go most directly to the point. You know there is a way of praying in the closet, and praying in the family, in which you do not ask for anything. You say a great many good things, introduce much of your own experience, review the doctrines of grace very thoughtfully, but you do not ask for anything in particular. Such prayer is always uninteresting to listen to, and I think it must be rather tedious to those who offer it.” (Spurgeon)

CTR:What wilt thou — Jesus did not inquire respecting his responsibility for his condition. It was sufficient that he realized that he was blind.

Many today when asked this question request riches, honors of men, or temporal blessings, instead of spiritual sight. 

Lord — The word “lord” here is “rabboni,” the most reverential term of four titles used amongst the Jews at that time–rab, rabbi, rabban, rabboni.   I might receive my sight — The vast majority are unlike Bartimaeus. They do not realize their condition–“and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” (Rev_3:17) 

Those who respond such do receive enlightenment from the Lord, an enlightenment by which they can see him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

Have you begged to see?

Mark 10:52 MKJV  And Jesus said to him, Go, your faith has healed you. And instantly he saw again, and he followed Jesus in the way.

Benson: and they followed Jesus in the way —Travelled with him, probably all the way to Jerusalem, being deeply affected with a sense of his power and goodness, and earnestly desirous to show their gratitude, by declaring openly, unto all the persons they met, what a great miracle Jesus had performed for them.

Guzik: Go your way; your faith has made you well: How did the faith of the blind man save him? Because it was:
• Faith that was determined to reach Jesus (he cried out all the more)
• Faith that knew who Jesus was (Son of David)
• Faith that came humbly to Jesus (have mercy on me)
• Faith that humbly submitted to Jesus (Rabboni)
• Faith that can tell Jesus what it wants (that I may receive my sight)

Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus: Blind Bartimaeus, now healed and saved, then followed Jesus. The way of Jesus became his way. This is especially significant when we consider where Jesus was going at this time – to Jerusalem to die.

i. First Jesus told Bartimaeus, go your way. Then, Bartimaeus followed Jesus. He made Jesus’ way his own way, and was follower of Him. Bartimaeus must have figured, “Now that I have my sight, I always want to look upon Jesus.”

CTR: Thy faith — Few of the many blind men in Palestine received such a blessing, because few had the requisite faith. 

Received his sight — All the miracles Jesus performed were foreshadows of the greater work which is to be accomplished by the establishment of his Millennial kingdom in due time. 

Illustrating some at the present time who are brought to the Lord and graciously receive the opening of the eyes of their understanding.  Only the great Physician is able to open the eyes of understanding. Only the few now get their eyes open, as did Bartimaeus, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Followed Jesus — A sincere heart is demonstrated by the fact that, after he had received his sight, he followed the Lord, glorifying God. We were all more or less blinded by the Adversary; and as we get free from his blinding influence, our hearts rejoice in the favor of him who has brought us out of darkness into marvelous light.

Since Jesus opened your eyes, do you also follow behind him?