Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
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.
But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall
drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
– Matthew 20:20-23
In this Podcast:
We will look at the Three things that every Mother can learn from the mother of James and John Zebedee:
- She wanted her children to be part of the Kingdom of God
- She wanted her children to be actively involved in the work of the Lord
- She had big expections for her children
What are Mothers?
- Mothers are Teachers
- Mothers are disciplinarians
- Mothers are Cleaning ladies
- Mothers are Nurses and Doctors
- Mothers are Psychologists and Councillors
- Mothers are Chaufers and Coaches
- Mothers are developers of Personalities
- Mothers are Molders of Vocaularies
- Mothers a shapers of Attitudes
Mothers are all of these things and much more!
Mothers care for their children (1 Thessalonians 2:7), we will look at an example of a mother who cared for her children and wanted the best for them, Mrs. Zebedee.
Mother Zebedee undoubtedly was aware of Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom; She also knew that James and John (her children) were close to him. However, she was concerned about their future, Possibly due to the subject matter that Jesus had just finished teaching as found in Matthew 20:1-16.
Jesus told of a landowner who went out to find some laborers to do some work for him. Upon finding some, they made an agreement as to what a fair days wage would be, and they started to work. At about noontime, the landowner decided to add some laborers to the crew and add put them to work and again in the evening; he did likewise. When the day’s work had been completed, and it was time to settle up, all of the laborers received the same wage, regardless of when they started to work. Well, the laborers who started work first and had, therefore, worked the longest, were unhappy with this arrangement (sound familiar?). They thought that they deserved more since they had worked the longest, but as Jesus explained, it was the decision of the landowner to pay these new laborers whatever he desired. He said in verse 13 “But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst, not thou agree with me for a penny?” and again he said in verse 15 “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” He concluded the teaching with this phrase “The last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (Matthew 20:16)
This teaching must have caused Mother Zebedee to wonder if her children would have the positions in the Lords kingdom, which she thought that they deserved. Most messages on this passage concentrate on being critical of her for the boldness that she demonstrates in asking for such an honor for her children, but there are several positive lessons that I would like to look at from this passage of scripture:
Three good things that every Mother can learn from Mrs. Zebedee:
The first thing to notice is that she wanted her children to be part of the Kingdom of God. Motherhood isn’t easy; sometimes you are filled with joy. At times your kids make you so happy that you beam with pride (Proverbs 23:25). Other times you’re filled with sadness, sometimes you can’t control the tears (Proverbs 10:1). Mothers have a lot on their plate; always worrying and wanting the best for their children. But what good is it, if our kids are successful on the job, or in sports, or school and life in general, if they don’t know the Lord? (Mark 8:36)
All Mothers (and Fathers) should have the same concern for their children that Mrs. Zebedee demonstrated. Mothers work very hard to ensure that their children qualify for scholarships and are able to participate in sports activities, including traveling teams and the like. Many parents devote every waking moment possible to transporting and engaging in these activities with their children. However, in comparison, most parents don’t put much thought into the Spiritual condition of their children. They say things like, We will let “johnny” decide what he wants to believe, or if he wants to attend church or even which church. Leaving these decisions up to chance, without our guidance is just unacceptable, Pray for your children, Pray that they get saved from their sins, by accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Pray that they develop a personal and intimate relationship with him.
Next, we see that she wanted her children to be actively involved in the work of the Lord. It’s not enough just to be saved. Churches are filled with members who are happy just to show up and fill a pew. They are glad to sit back and receive the blessings but are not willing to do any of the work. The spirit of service starts in the home; Parents are to set the example, Parents are called to be teachers of their children, they are called to be leaders of their children, but are not called to be their children’s best friend. Unfortunately, many parents fall into the trap of trying to be a buddy instead of a parent.
A good Mother prays that her children will be actively involved in the work of the Lord.
Finally, we see that she had big expectations for her children. She didn’t want them just to be involved but wanted them to be close to Jesus (Matthew 20:21). Too many settle for average or “good enough.” At work they just do what is necessary to ensure that they don’t get in trouble or fired, They are content to just be on the team, they sit back and just let things happen. It’s time to get more involved. Become a leader in the ministry. Get involved in reaching others with the good news of the Gospel. We are called to be disciples and effective laborers.
That is Motherhood; this is your day. Follow the example that we have set forth by the study of Mrs. Zebedee. Make sure that your children have a personal relationship with the Lord. Make sure that your children are actively involved in the work of the Lord and don’t settle for mediocrity, but rather have big expectations for your children.
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.