Why did the disciples, and the mother of James and John, seem so concerned about their status within the group of disciples? eg Mark 9 - but others too.

I am wondering if there is more to this than pride - which is surely part of the answer. However, though as adults we are definitely concerned about our status, arguments between adults about 'I am greater than you' are far from common - in my experience.

Is there some detail about the rabbi-disciple relationship here that is missed by a simple discussion of pride? Was there something at stake that is more significant than just 'I am better than you'?

  • 1
    The assessment of personal motivation is, unavoidably, a matter of opinion. It is noticeable that scriptural authors very rarely (as in John 12:43) make such assessments. Jesus' action makes it irrelevant as to the motivation. Anyone desiring greatness shall be the least, whatever the motivation. Voted to close as matter of opinion.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 14, 2022 at 9:00
  • To avoid this Q being seen as inviting opinion, you may want to provide an objective criteria for the answer, such as asking in terms of NT background understanding of the kingdom or eschatological expectations of 1st century Jews. Yes,I do think there is something more at stake than simple "I am greater than you". +1 Jul 14, 2022 at 12:02
  • The other passage is Matt 20:20-28. Jul 14, 2022 at 12:07
  • Could this be answered better on hermeneutics.stackexchange.com?
    – user54757
    Jul 14, 2022 at 17:54
  • OK - well, its my first post here so apologies if this is on the wrong board.
    – maxelcat
    Jul 15, 2022 at 10:09


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .