Summary: Mothers of today should be ambitious for their children to enter into fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Many have tended to join with the other ten apostles in an attitude of hostility toward Salome, the mother of James and John, because of her prayer for preferential consideration for her sons. It is significant to note that while Christ corrected her He did not berate, criticize or condemn her. Let us look at this remarkable mother of two men who were to serve their Lord and their generation in such a manner as to be famous after almost two millenniums.
We should remember that she was not divine, She was just as imperfect as any other mother. However, there must have been something uniquely different about her. Her two sons were among the first who were selected and who responded to our Lord’s invitation to discipleship. While nowhere do we find a direct reference to the fact that the mother of James and John was named Salome, a careful consideration of all the passages in the New Testament seem to infer that this was her name.
There is some tradition that would indicate that Salome was a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus. If this is true then James and John were cousins of Jesus on their mother’s side. We cannot be dogmatic at this point.
I. SALOME WAS A MOTHER OF GREAT FAITH
A. Salome had a great faith in Jesus Christ or else she would not have made her request for preferential treatment of her sons. It it possible that her faith was colored by the nationalistic and materialistic expectations that were so prominent in the minds of Jewish people in that day and time. Even if this were true it indicates that she had faith in Jesus Christ.
B. Salome had faith in the ability and faithfulness of her sons. She had high expectations of them. She believed that they were capable and could be trusted. Mothers today need to have a great faith in the potential of their children.
My mother had a lot of confidence in me, she had much more confidence in me than I had in myself. I discovered only after her death in 1994 that she would tell her friends that I would be a preacher one day. The Lord took her home before I accepted my call to preach. My mother would pray for me and my brother on a daily basis, she was a woman of great faith.
II. SALOME WAS A WOMAN OF WARM DEVOTION
A. Salome had a warm love for Jesus Christ which indicated itself in the critical and dangerous time when He was going to the cross. "And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdelene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children" (Matt. 27:55,56). Her faith and warm love were manifested by her presence at the tomb as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (Mark 16:1).
B. Salome had a great and exalting love for her sons. We cannot criticize her for this, instead she actually deserves to be commended. We are living in a time when mothers are abandoning their children, even selling their children for drugs. But God bless the mothers of today who show great love for their children. My former pastor, the late Rev. J.J. "Jack" Rector once said,"Motherhood is the closest thing to divinity than anything else on earth" and he was right.
III. SALOME WAS A WOMAN OF SPIRITUAL AMBITION
A. Salome came to Jesus worshipping Him.
B. Salome came to Jesus with a prayer.
C. Salome listened and learned as much as it was capable for her to grasp at that particular time.
D. Salome accepted correction from Christ (Matt. 20:22a) Is ambition for our children sinful? Well in some instances the answer would be "Yes." In other instances the answer would be "No."
If Salome was thinking only of position, power and prestige then her ambition was selfish. On the other hand, maybe she wanted her sons always to be near Jesus Christ, and if that were the case, then we are all (or we should all be)like her. I don’t know about you, but I want my children to always be near Jesus Christ. Jesus proceeded to explain what one must be and what must be done if he would be great in the kingdom of God. All would agree that James and John met this condition.
Mothers of today should be ambitious for the conversion of their children. Mothers of today should be ambitious for the development of Christian character in the lives of their children. Mothers of today should be ambitious for their children to enter into a Christian marriage with one who can help them honor and serve God. Mothers today should be ambitious to enter into a Christian vocation that will not compromise their faith and that will provide them with the opportunity to render a significant service to the Lord.