Who was John Zebedee?
We know in the Gospels there were some who were very close to Jesus and among them were John, James, their mother Mary (Salome), Simon Peter, Mary of Magdalene, the family of Lazarus and Zacchaeus.
Both the brothers John and James Zebedee were close to Jesus. They were not the only set of brothers to be part of the disciple troupe of Jesus. Jesus also had Simon Peter's brother Andrew as one of his disciple. If one looks throughout the Gospels when the names of these sets of brothers are written they are written in an specific order, Peter and his brother Andrew, James and his brother John. This could be to show that Andrew was younger to Peter and John was younger to James.
We also see that among all the disciples no other disciple had any of their family members accompanying them except for the Salome Zebedee mother of James and John. It is also interesting to note that like in the case of Mary of Magdalene Jesus had also changed the name of the mother of James and John from Salome to Mary. We should remember Jesus never did anything without purpose.
Mary of Magdalene's name was not Mary but was given that name by Jesus after she was renewed from the sinful life she lived (like in the case of Saul to Paul). We should first understand the name 'Mary' is not a nice name because it meaning means 'their rebellion' yet Jesus gave her that name. Some claim Mary of Magdalene was the person who was to be stoned to death and whom Jesus saved.
Why did Jesus give her the name that of her mother?
It was because she was a person of the age of his mother and was given respect as He gave to his mother. People do not understand this and therefore assume and presume all nonsense.
Now coming to reason why the name Mary given to the mother of James and John. Once some of my students went to a Catholic's house to share the Word and the topic as usual came about Mary the mother of Jesus being called our Mother Mary. The person told my students that Jesus gave his mother to us because He gave her to John his most loved one and John represents us.
What amazed me was the Lord worked through my students and they spoke what even I was not aware of at that time.
Firstly they justified that Peter was selected to lead the disciples although he was not the most loved but one of the most loved. So the matter was not of being loved but of purpose.
Secondly Peter represented the church at that time so if Jesus had to give his mother to the church He would have given her to Peter.
Thirdly Jesus gave his mother Mary to John was because he was related to Jesus and He had given an aunt to her nephew to take care of.
How did they come to last conclusion? They were talking to me on the phone at that time and as we put all the scriptures concerning James, John and their mother it was very clear to understand this matter. It was this reason that Jesus had changed the name of Salome [name comes from Solomon / Shalom which means peace] the mother of James and John to Mary because being an aunt she was like his mother. In those days and even today close uncles and aunts were given the same respect as a father or mother would.
It was later that I realized the fourth reason that John was given Mary to take care of was because Jesus knew that he would be the only person to live through the life of his mother before she died. All the other disciples became martyrs, but John who was thrown in hot boiling oil miraculously survived it and lived. It was also these reasons that John was selected to write the Gospel which is like an autobiography of Jesus.
There was also a secret of John which Jesus revealed in the last words of John's Gospel on hearing which Peter became jealous of John and took offence against him.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You work with purpose and You have not created us just for existence but with purpose. Your Word says You have great plans for us which no human mind can imagine. Lord, we thank You for your wonderful plans which You have made for us in Jesus Christ. Help us to keep our eyes and heart on Him at in Him, through Him and with Him we receive...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripture ]
16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
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