The Meaning of Mark 10:38 Explained

Mark 10:38

KJV: But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

YLT: and Jesus said to them, 'Ye have not known what ye ask; are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized with -- to be baptized?'

Darby: And Jesus said to them, Ye do not know what ye ask. Are ye able to drink the cup which I drink, or be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with?

ASV: But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

What does Mark 10:38 Mean?

Context Summary

Mark 10:23-52 - True Riches And Real Greatness
Wealth brings many temptations. It is not said that rich men cannot get through the gate, but they will have to stoop very low and be stripped of the love of wealth, though not necessarily of wealth itself. In Christ's kingdom to give all is to get all. The surrendered life needs no pity, for what it loses on the material side is more than compensated by its enormous spiritual gains, Mark 10:30-31. Perhaps the request of the two brethren was dictated rather by the desire to be near the Master than by ambition; but in any case there is only one price to be paid. We must know the fellowship of His sufferings, if we are to share His glory, 2 Timothy 2:11, etc. It is easy to say, "We are able;" but had they not experienced the day of Pentecost, these two aspirants had certainly failed, Philippians 4:13. If you are not called to suffer with Him, then serve. Service like Christ's will bring you near His throne, as will also a share in His suffering. With us as with Bartimaeus, obstacles and difficulties should not daunt, but rather incite to more eager prayers. Christ is ever saying to men-Courage! Only faith could make a blind man cast away his garment, but he knew that he would be able to find it again with the sight that Jesus would certainly bestow. [source]

Chapter Summary: Mark 10

1  Jesus disputes with the Pharisees concerning divorce;
13  blesses the children that are brought unto him;
17  resolves a rich man how he may inherit everlasting life;
23  tells his disciples of the danger of riches;
28  promises rewards to those who forsake all for the gospel;
32  foretells his death and resurrection;
35  bids the two ambitious suitors to think rather of suffering with him;
46  and restores to Bartimaeus his sight

Greek Commentary for Mark 10:38

Or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with [η το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτιστηναι]
Cognate accusative with both passive verbs. Matthew 20:22 has only the cup, but Mark has both the cup and the baptism, both referring to death. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane will refer to his death again as “the cup” (Mark 14:36; Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42). He had already used baptism as a figure for his death (Luke 12:50). Paul will use it several times (1 Corinthians 15:29; Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Mark 10:38

Acts 12:2 James the brother of John [Ιακωβον τον αδελπον Ιωανου]
He had been called by Jesus a son of thunder along with his brother John. Jesus had predicted a bloody death for both of them (Mark 10:38.; Matthew 20:23). James is the first of the apostles to die and John probably the last. He is not James the Lord‘s brother (Galatians 1:19). We do not know why Luke tells so little about the death of James and so much about the death of Stephen nor do we know why Herod selected him as a victim. Eusebius (H.E. ii. 9) quotes Clement of Alexandria as saying that a Jew made accusations against James and was converted and beheaded at the same time with him. [source]
1 Corinthians 15:29 Baptized for the dead [βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν]
Concerning this expression, of which some thirty different explanations are given, it is best to admit frankly that we lack the facts for a decisive interpretation. None of the explanations proposed are free from objection. Paul is evidently alluding to a usage familiar to his readers; and the term employed was, as Godet remarks, in their vocabulary, a sort of technical phrase. A large number of both ancient and modern commentators adopt the view that a living Christian was baptized for an unbaptized dead Christian. The Greek expositors regarded the words the dead as equivalent to the resurrection of the dead, and the baptism as a manifestation of belief in the doctrine of the resurrection. Godet adopts the explanation which refers baptism to martyrdom - the baptism of blood - and cites Luke 12:50, and Mark 10:38. In the absence of anything more satisfactory I adopt the explanation given above. [source]
2 Corinthians 1:4 That we may be able to comfort [eis to dunasthai hēmas parakalein)]
Purpose clause with eis and the articular infinitive with the accusative of general reference, a common idiom. Paul here gives the purpose of affliction in the preacher‘s life, in any Christian‘s life, to qualify him for ministry to others. Otherwise it will be professional and perfunctory. Wherewith (εις το δυνασται ημας παρακαλειν — hēs). Genitive case of the relative attracted to that of the antecedent εις — paraklēseōs The case of the relative here could have been either the accusative ης — hēn with the passive verb retained as in Mark 10:38 or the instrumental παρακλησεως — hēi Either is perfectly good Greek (cf. Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 4:1). Personal experience of God‘s comfort is necessary before we can pass it on to others. [source]
2 Corinthians 1:4 Wherewith [εις το δυνασται ημας παρακαλειν]
Genitive case of the relative attracted to that of the antecedent εις — paraklēseōs The case of the relative here could have been either the accusative ης — hēn with the passive verb retained as in Mark 10:38 or the instrumental παρακλησεως — hēi Either is perfectly good Greek (cf. Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 4:1). Personal experience of God‘s comfort is necessary before we can pass it on to others. [source]
Ephesians 4:5 One faith [μια πιστις]
One act of trust in Christ, the same for all (Jew or Gentile), one way of being saved. One baptism (εν βαπτισμα — hen baptisma). The result of baptizing (βαπτισμα — baptisma), while βαπτισμος — baptismos is the act. Only in the N.T. (βαπτισμος — baptismos in Josephus) and ecclesiastical writers naturally. See note on Mark 10:38. There is only one act of baptism for all (Jews and Gentiles) who confess Christ by means of this symbol, not that they are made disciples by this one act, but merely so profess him, put Christ on publicly by this ordinance. [source]
Ephesians 4:5 One baptism [εν βαπτισμα]
The result of baptizing (βαπτισμα — baptisma), while βαπτισμος — baptismos is the act. Only in the N.T. (βαπτισμος — baptismos in Josephus) and ecclesiastical writers naturally. See note on Mark 10:38. There is only one act of baptism for all (Jews and Gentiles) who confess Christ by means of this symbol, not that they are made disciples by this one act, but merely so profess him, put Christ on publicly by this ordinance. [source]

What do the individual words in Mark 10:38 mean?

- And Jesus said to them Not you know what you ask Are you able to drink the cup which I drink and baptism am baptized to be baptized [with]
δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτεῖσθε δύνασθε πιεῖν τὸ ποτήριον ἐγὼ πίνω βάπτισμα βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθῆναι

  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
εἶπεν  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
αὐτοῖς  to  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
οἴδατε  you  know 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: οἶδα  
Sense: to see.
αἰτεῖσθε  you  ask 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle, 2nd Person Plural
Root: αἰτέω  
Sense: to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require.
δύνασθε  Are  you  able 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 2nd Person Plural
Root: δύναμαι  
Sense: to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.
πιεῖν  to  drink 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: πίνω  
Sense: to drink.
ποτήριον  cup 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ποτήριον  
Sense: a cup, a drinking vessel.
πίνω  drink 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: πίνω  
Sense: to drink.
βάπτισμα  baptism 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: βάπτισμα  
Sense: immersion, submersion.
βαπτίζομαι  am  baptized 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 1st Person Singular
Root: βαπτίζω  
Sense: to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk).
βαπτισθῆναι  to  be  baptized  [with] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Passive
Root: βαπτίζω  
Sense: to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk).