“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from my cup.'”
The mother of James and John asked the Lord to bestow honor on her sons but was told instead they would drink from the same cup as the Lord’s. No one knows if she realized that Jesus was describing His cruel death. We don’t know if she understood that this meant martyrdom for her sons.
This dear mother is not all that unusual. Every parent wants to see his child promoted and honored. But God may have a different plan for that child, perhaps one not as glamorous or as full of accolades. Always, a parent’s desire for a child’s advancement must be held in check as the mother and father pray that God’s will be done in his life.
Somehow I believe the mother of James and John ended up understanding this. When you flip over to Matthew 27 you read a startling fact about this same woman. “Many women were there [at the cross]. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene … and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”
The mother of James and John was one of the few who remained by the cross of Jesus. She saw firsthand the terrible cup that her Lord had talked about weeks earlier. She may have realized then the hardships her sons were destined to face. Oh, the tenderness and the compassion that must have filled her heart.
I praise You, Lord, for the love of a mother.
Joni and Friends