Encounter: Mrs. Zebedee

Encountering Jesus’

desire to Fully Satisfy

Matthew 20:17-28

By Megan Walter

At first read of this week’s passage about Salome, we judge her for asking such a presumptuous, worldly question of our Savior, who just announced His impending crucifixion and resurrection. Salome, like the disciples, was so focused on Jesus’ political, earthly kingdom in the moment that she formed her own plan. I, too, lose perspective all the time.

Today’s post read by the author

I get so hyper-focused on “my” plans, not really taking in the Bible verses I just read about peace and direction, not really allowing room or time for Jesus to work in my rushed schedule. I read the news and feel overwhelmed by the trending political headlines, and I easily move into “me” mode. How can I make the best plan for my kids to get through a difficulty? How can I best plan the way to accomplish their future goals? How can I save us in this financial pinch?   

I think it is interesting that Jesus answers James and John directly in this passage and Salome indirectly. It indicates that it must have been James and John’s heart desire, as well as their mother’s. They may have even asked their mother to pose the question for them. However, Jesus replies with two reasons He would not grant that request — the cost of following Jesus (drinking His cup and being baptized with His baptism) and the authority of God the Father. Jesus doesn’t point out their self-seeking hearts, but He redirects them to servant leadership. Jesus shows His surrender to the Father’s will and how we should humbly serve and lead others. 

I’m excited to continue studying Jesus’ encounters with women in the Gospels because it reminds me that He sees me and knows my heart. Each moment that is recorded in the Gospels is for the purpose of teaching and correcting us. I think this section on Salome and her two sons shows us how we need to realign our plans and thoughts with Jesus and His Word.  

Megan Walter has been married for 25 years, has four children, homeschools, and loves the outdoors. Her faith started with a simple trust in Jesus at an early age, but each year continues refining her understanding that Jesus guides us to the best life when we continue to follow Him in our decisions and daily trusting. For Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”