Jesus: 21 What do you want?
Zebedee’s Wife: When the kingdom of God is made manifest, I want one of my boys, James and John, to sit at Your right hand, and one to sit at Your left hand.
Apparently the wife of Zebedee secretly thinks her sons have worked harder and sacrificed more for Jesus than the other disciples, and she probably suspects that Jesus loves them best. She thinks He will at least do the right thing and reward their hardest work and most loyal service. She also hopes that if her sons are there on the nearest, closest thrones, she may spend eternity near and close, too, clutching onto their coattails.
Jesus (to all three): 22 You don’t understand what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink? Can you be ritually washed in baptism just as I have been baptized?[a]
Zebedee Brothers: Of course!
Jesus: 23 Yes, you will drink from My cup, and yes, you will be baptized[b] as I have been. But the thrones to My right and My left are not Mine to grant. My Father has already given those seats to those for whom they were created.