In Mark 20, we see the story of a mother who is unnamed, but we know by comparing the parallel passage in Mark, that this her name is Salome or Salomé—not to be confused with what my mom used to put in my sack lunch. And not to be confused with the daughter of Herodias who danced for the head of John the Baptist.
This Salome is not the dancing daughter. She’s the devoted mother.
Salome loves her children. She wants the best for her boys.
She married a successful small business owner, a well-to-do fisherman named Zebedee. But Salome wants even more for her boys. She wants her boys to be great. We see that…
1. Many mothers want their sons to be treated like a king. (Matt. 20:20-23a)
20 Then came to Him (Jesus) the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons , worshipping [she kneels before] him and desiring a certain thing of him.
21 And He said unto her, “What wilt thou?” She saith unto Him, “Grant that these, my two sons, may sit— the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy kingdom.”
This is a mother who wants her boys to be great—who wants them to literally be treated like kings.
The person on a king’s right hand was 2nd in command of the kingdom. The one to his left was 3rd in command. The top spots in the kingdom.
Apparently James & John had told their mother about Jesus’ promise in 19:28.
28 And Jesus said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration [the new world] when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.”
Salome knew Jesus had made this promise. And she knew that her boys were especially close to Jesus. Wouldn’t you be proud if your sons were 2/3rds of Christ’s inner circle? Wouldn’t you be proud if you son was best friends with Jesus, like her son, John?
So let’s not be too quick to judge Salome. She wasn’t a bad mother.
She must have been a godly mother who’d raised these godly sons—the men who were closest to Jesus in the whole world.