Matthew 20:20-28

The mother of James and John asks Jesus for something

20 Then the mother of James and John took them to see Jesus. (Their father was Zebedee.) She went down on her knees in front of Jesus. She asked him to do something good for her.

21 ‘What do you want me to do?’ Jesus asked her.

She said, ‘One day, you will be king. Then I want my two sons to rule with you. One may sit at your right side and the other one at your left side. Please will you do this?’

22 Jesus said to them, ‘You do not understand what you are asking for. I will have much pain and trouble. Are you ready to have the same pain?’

James and John replied, ‘Yes, we can do that.’

23 Jesus said to them, ‘Yes, that is true. You will have pain and trouble like mine. But I cannot promise that you will sit at my right side or at my left side. My Father God has chosen the people who will sit there. He has prepared the places for those people.’

24 When the other ten disciples heard about this, they were angry with the two brothers. 25 Then Jesus told all the 12 disciples to come to him. He said to them, ‘You know the things that rulers of other countries do. They show that they have great power over their people. The leaders of those countries use great authority over their people. 26 But you should not be like that. The person who wants to be great among you must become your servant. 27 The person who wants to be the most important person among you must work hard for everyone else. 28 Even the Son of Man himself came to earth to be a servant to other people. He did not come here to have servants who must work for him. No, he came to die so that many people can be free.’