Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Mother asks for More than she knows.

On their way up to Jerusalem, Jesus called his disciples aside and told them, Look, when we get to Jerusalem I am going to be betrayed to the chief priests and delivered unto the Gentiles to be beaten, and mocked, and crucified; yet I will live again on the third day.

Now stepped forward Mrs. Zebedee with her sons, James and John, worshipping Jesus. And he said, What is it you want?

The mother replied, I would that in your kingdom my boys may sit at your side, one on your right hand and one on the left.

Jesus told her plainly that she did not know what she was asking, for he asked, Will these be able to endure to the end even what I must endure? They assured him they would.

Then Jesus said an amazing thing. “You shall indeed drink of my cup, and be baptized of my baptism. But I cannot grant the seats at my table in the kingdom, for those places are reserved by the Father for whom he chooses to sit at my side. (Based on Matthew, chapter 20.)

This mother, not unlike good mothers throughout history, was seeking the very best thing she could imagine for her offspring. Yet in asking a seemingly simple and yet clearly important thing, she not only asked for the greatest honor that could be bestowed upon her children, but she asked far more than she realized. For the cup that her sons would drink from was bitter indeed.*  Moreover, she asked this boon in the presence of the other ten disciples of Christ, thereby engendering “indignation against them.”

Then Jesus taught them thus. Let him who would be great among you minister. Let him who would be chief be a servant. For I came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give my life as a ransom for many.

May today be a blessed Mothers' Day for mothers everywhere, and for their children. 

*Both sons remained faithful followers of Christ.  Their earthly fates were these.  James was beheaded by Herod and John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos.  John was the only one of the original Twelve who did not die a violent death.


Shelly said...

Mrs. Zebedee, aka Mrs. Thunder must have been a formidable woman. Jesus teaches us some wonderful lessons through her and through her sons.

Sharkbytes said...

Most mothers sure get the servant part. I've always thought this was an odd story to be included in the Bible. Sure is human nature, though.

vanilla said...

Shelly, seems in this case her faith was rewarded with much more than she expected.

Sharkey, traditionally, motherhood has certainly provided opportunities for "service." The scriptures explore human nature both in broad strokes, and in the crevices and crannies.