Monday, February 15, 2016

Salome - from chutzpah to surrender

When you saw the name on this post, did you instantly have visions of a royal court, a fancy platter, and a man's head on it? (Shudder) Nope, we're not talking about THAT Salome! That was Herod and Herodias' daughter, and it's one of those stories . . . you know, the ones that you read as quickly as possible to get past them to the better stuff? (Grin)

This Salome is the wife of a fisherman, and mother to two famous disciples. We're going to look at her story and learn from her this week. Let's look at some scriptures and see if we can glean some knowledge about our lady of the week.

                Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (Matthew 4:21-22)

                 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means "sons of thunder"), (Mark 3:17)    
            Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.21 “What is it you want?” he asked.She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”22 “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.23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
          (Matthew 20:20-28)

      Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
     (Matthew 27:55-56)

What did we learn about Salome here? She was the wife of an honest and prosperous man, who had a thriving fishing business - their two sons joined him in working in that business every day.  They probably lived in the same town, Capernaum, where Peter and Andrew lived, the first two to be called by Jesus. I wonder what she first thought of Jesus? This wandering teacher came to the boat where her hard-working hubby and sons were plying their trade, and told the two young men to "follow Him,"
And they did.
Ever wonder what Zebedee thought, as he bobbed along in the boat, with just the hired men? (Mark 1:20)
Where are they going? Are they coming back this afternoon? Tonight? Ever? What will I do without my two strong sons to help me?
Whatever Zebedee and Salome thought, I expect it impressed them that Jesus knew their sons so well, when He hadn't known them before . . . He called them "sons of thunder." Apparently they were boisterous, perhaps even a little rowdy, impetuous, but fervently devoted to their Teacher and His cause. We can draw from that, that Salome and her husband were devout, looking-for-the-Messiah Jews, and had brought their family up in the faith.
How do we know that? Look at this passage:

                    When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Luke 9:54)

This was their response to the Samaritans who would not give the travelers lodging for the night - simply because their destination was Jerusalem! James and John are revealed here as fervent, impetuous men who were angry that the Teacher was not treated well. Truly they believed that He was the Messiah, and were angry at this prejudice and opposition. (I'm sure there were other times when they lived up to their nickname, but this makes it obvious that they were trained in the faith to look for the Messiah, and they were sold out to the fact that Jesus was the One.)

So, Salome and Zebedee must have been faithful at the synagogue, and diligent to teach their children.

We'll learn more about Salome next time we study. I hope you'll join us!

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