Then (tote). Surely an inopportune time for such a request just after the pointed prediction of Christ's crucifixion. Perhaps their minds had been preoccupied with the words of Jesus ( Mark 19:28 ) about their sitting on twelve thrones taking them in a literal sense. The mother of James and John, probably Salome, possibly a sister of the Master's mother ( John 19:25 ), apparently prompted her two sons because of the family relationship and now speaks for them. Asking a certain thing (aitousa ti). "Asking something," "plotting perhaps when their Master was predicting" (Bruce). The "something" put forward as a small matter was simply the choice of the two chief thrones promised by Jesus ( John 19:28 ).