Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Keys of the Kingdom 40

20 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.?.
1. Overall, this statement is simple: Salome (traditonal) wants her sons to sit next to Jesus in the kingdom. That kingdom is the Davidic kingdom of Jewish hope.
2. This kingdom suggests an earthly reign where there are thrones, etc..
3. The desire provokes consternation on the part of the other disciples and piercing words by Jesus — words even James and John don’t quite comprehend. Those who seek the kingdom, Jesus says, are not those who seek to dominate, rule and wield power. Instead, kingdom seekers serve one another in love.
4. Jesus’, the Son of Man’s, self-sacrifice on the cross embodies the proper stance of those seeking the kingdom of God.

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posted February 29, 2008 at 9:28 am

The most interesting thing in this passage is the reference to “your kingdom” not the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.
The mother of Zebedee’s sons perceives the kingdom as future glory and as in some sense belonging to Jesus. I hadn’t gotten this sense from the sayings of Jesus discussed in other passages. This provides an interesting insight into the perception of the teaching of Jesus.
Continuing the passage in Mt. 20 – the response of Jesus (v. 25-28) again demonstrates that the kingdom is radically egalitarian.

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Scot McKnight

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:03 am

Good observations RJS.

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posted February 29, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Not just radically egalitarian, but radically “un-cursed”.

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