Peter missed it. James and John missed it. There is no place for pride or proud merit in the kingdom. No one will have eternal life and kingdom rewards but by mercy through Christ and Him crucified. With masterful subtlety, this passage presents a moving climax to what has gone before and brilliantly prepares the path for what lies ahead. The self-important are blind to their need and the needs of others—they fail to see the majesty of Christ and feel His mercy. Self-seeking is contrary to the King who champions compassion. Here Jesus puts His deep humility on display. We see Him serving the last, not being served. He exercises His great power for mercy. Even here paradox is pictured. Indeed, the first will be last, the rich can be poor, and the blind may see better than all of Israel. Here the blind clamoring of the disciples for first place is silenced by the seeing cry of blind men for mercy alone.