What a great story! About certain disciples and their mother, who should have known better! A bit of context. Jesus gathers the twelve to His side, sharing with them the grief that is on His heart. For the third time they hear that condemnation and death await Jesus. But then, He promises, that on the third day, He’ll rise from the dead(Matthew 20: 17-19)! The trials of Holy Week, the seeming defeat on the cross, will all culminate in victorious life that Easter Sunday morn!
Immediately, a pushy mother comes right up to Jesus along with her two sons. Asking Him to seat her sons, James and John, on His right and His left in the Kingdom of Heaven. What ‘chutzpah’! What a nerve! Just got through telling of His betrayal, His agony and death. And what does she want? The best seats in the house for her boys! Most Bible scholars feel that this mother is Salome, the sister of the Virgin Mary. She would be Jesus’ aunt, and her sons His cousins. If anyone might grant her wish, it should be Jesus. Right? Wrong!
Jesus, tells her pointblank that that decision is not His to make. Tough luck for her! For pushy people have it all wrong. Being first in line is never the best place…for His followers. Followers… follow! Get behind… and don’t worry about your name up in lights. It’s about serving…doing unto others…giving being more blessed than getting and grasping.
Did they get it? James and John finally did. Actually, they served their Lord faithfully and humbly. Wonder how I would have done in their sandals? What about their mother? Dear, old Mom! Did she ever get what Jesus meant? I think she did.
Later in Matthew, Salome makes a brief appearance. Read Matthew 27: 55-56. Find her? All the apostles had fled Jesus on His cross, every one of them. Some snuck back later and hung around the edges of the crowd that Good Friday. The women stayed as close as they could to Him, watching and waiting. Being near. Loving Him. Shedding tear after tear. These women, the Bible says, ‘…were ministering to Him…'(Matthew 27:55). Some are identified by name. Mary Magdalene. Mary, the mother of James and Joseph. Then…wait a moment! Am I reading correctly? Yes! ‘…and the mother of the sons of Zebedee’! At this most dangerous time, with tensions boiling over, there she is. Not asking for favors. Not for herself or her sons. Not this time. She’s there at the foot of the cross. For Jesus. Standing with some other women, probably hand-in-hand. There to serve whatever the needs of their Master. Jesus’ earlier lesson sunk deep within her soul. She got it! Serving. Giving. His death…our life eternal! Get it?
Prayer: How humbling, Lord, to know that you love us as we are. Please, make us more like Jesus. In whose name we pray. Amen.