Mark 10:40

But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Matthew has expressed that this was said not by themselves, but by their mother, since she brought their wishes to the Lord; wherefore Mark briefly implies rather that they themselves, rather than their mother, had used the words. Then the Lord both according to Mark, and to Matthew, answered them rather than their mother. For it goes on: “But Jesus said unto them,Ye know not what ye ask.”


AD 735
Or else, they know not what they ask, who seek from the Lord a seat of glory, which they do not yet merit. A question is raised, however, how James and John drank the cup of martyrdom, or how they were baptized with the baptism of the Lord, when the Scripture relates, that only James the Apostle was beheaded by Herod whilst John finished his life by a natural death. But if we read ecclesiastical histories, in which it is related, that he also on account of the witness which he bore was cast into a cauldron of burning oil, and was immediately sent away to the island of Patmos, we shall then see that the spirit of martyrdom was in him, and that John drank the cup of confession, which the Three Children also drank in the furnace of fire, though the persecutor did not spill their blood. It goes on: “But to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.”. Or else, it is not mine to give to you, that is, to proud persons, ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The disciples hearing Christ oftentimes speaking of His kingdom, thought that this kingdom was to be before His death, and therefore now that His death was foretold to them, they came to Him, that they might immediately be made worthy of the honours of the kingdom. For ashamed of the human weakness which they felt, they came to Christ, taking Him apart from the disciples; but our Saviour, not from ignorance of what they wanted to ask, but from a wish of making them answer Him, puts this question to them; “And He said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?”. Or we may fitly say that both took place; for seeing themselves honoured above the rest, they thought that they could easily obtain the foregoing petition; and that they might the more easily succeed in their request, they took their mother with them, that they might pray unto Christ together with her. Or else He says, “Ye know not what ye ask”; as if He said, Ye speak of honours, but I am discoursing of wrestling sand t...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Now the above mentioned disciples thought that He was going up to Jerusalem, to reign there, and then to suffer what He had foretold. And with these thoughts, they desired to sit on the right hand and the left hand. Wherefore there follows: “They said unto Him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, the other on Thyleft hand, in Thy glory.” It will not be as ye think, that I am to reign as a temporal king in Jerusalem, but all these things, that is, these which belong to My kingdom, are beyond your understanding; for to site on My right hand is so great a thing that it surpasses the Angelic orders.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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