What was Jesus’ impact on his family?
In harmonizing Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49 and John 19:25-27, Robert Mounce draws an interesting conclusion I’d never heard before regarding the women at the crucifixion.
Matthew identifies the women as Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Mark identifies them as Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome.
Luke identifies them merely as “the women.”
John says that near the cross stood Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary’s sister. Also there were Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary of Magdala.
Harmonizing these accounts, Robert Mounce believes that the mother of Zebedee’s sons (James and John) was the woman named Salome, and that she was the sister of Mary (Jesus’ mother).
This would make James and John, the Sons of Thunder and two of his first followers and closest friends, Jesus’ cousins.
This possibility raises all kinds of questions…
How well did James and John know Jesus before his baptism?
Had they heard “stories” about his birth and wondered who his real father was?
Did they have any idea he could be the Messiah?
Were they more trusted because Jesus knew them already, at least as relatives?
Were they quick to believe and follow because they already knew Jesus and had a sense of family loyalty (this certainly wasn’t the case with his half-brother, James)?
Is this why Jesus’ disciples were invited to the wedding in Cana? Were they extended family of the bride or groom, just as Jesus likely was?
Is this why Jesus asked John to care for Mary after his death?
When Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are outside the house and want to see him, and he replies by asking, “Who are my brothers and mother?” how would James and John have felt when Jesus asked this question about their Aunt Mary and then pointed at them and the other disciples and said they were his family?
Things that make you go “Hmmmmm?”
What is the impact our life has on those closest to us… on our friends, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our aunts and uncles, our grandparents? Does our life inspire those closest to us to passionately pursue Jesus?
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