Matthew 20:22-23. “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. 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.”
Indeed, these two brothers had no idea what they were asking. Jesus’ response to them was clear: “Only if you are able and willing to follow in My footsteps, to suffer as I will suffer, to endure as I will endure, can you ask such a favor. And you shall. You will endure suffering. But only My Father knows to whom will be granted special places of favor. It is not Mine to decide.”
How eagerly they responded, “Yes! We are able to follow You in suffering!”
The scriptures and historical accounts tell us that James, who was the first of the twelve to be killed, was beheaded by Herod. His brother John, who was the disciple that Jesus loved, was the writer of the Gospel of John, the epistles of John, and the book of Revelation. Tradition tells us, and many historical writings bear it out, that John was at one point thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil but received no injuries. In his old age, he was exiled to the isle of Patmos. He lived to be 100 years old, which was a very old age in that time.
Do you wonder. . . .if they had known what faced them, would they have been so eager to proclaim their ability to follow in Jesus’ path?