Catena Aurea Commentary with Douay Rheims Bible
41. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
42. But Jesus called them to Him, and saith unto them, “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Theophylact: The other Apostles are indignant at seeing James and John seeking for honour; wherefore it is said, “And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.” For being influenced by human feelings, they were moved with envy; and their first displeasure arose from their seeing that they were not taken up by the Lord; before that time they were not displeased, because they saw that they themselves were honoured before other men. At this time the Apostles were thus imperfect, but afterwards they yielded the chief place one to another.
Christ however cures them; first indeed by drawing them to Himself in order to comfort them; and this is meant, when it is said, “But Jesus called them to Him”; then by shewing them that to usurp honour, and to desire the chief place, belongs to Gentiles.
Wherefore there follows: “And saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship; and their great ones exercise authority over them.”
The great ones of the Gentiles thrust themselves into the chief place tyrannically and as lords.
It goes on: “But so shall it not be among you.”
Bede: In which He teaches, that he is the greater, who is the less, and that he becomes the lord, who is servant of all: vain, therefore, was it both for the one party to seek for immoderate things, and the other to be annoyed at their desiring greater things, since we are to arrive at the height of virtue not by power but by humility.
Then He proposes an example, that if they lightly regarded His words, His deeds might make them ashamed, saying, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Theophylact: Which is a greater thing than to minister. For what can be greater or more wonderful than that a man should die for him to whom he ministers? Nevertheless, this serving and condescension of humility was His glory, and that of all; for before He was made man, He was known only to the Angels; but now that He has become man and has been crucified, He not only has glory Himself, but also has taken up others to a participation in His glory, and ruled by faith over the whole world.
Bede: He did not say, however, that He gave His life a ransom for all, but for many, that is, for those who would believe on Him.