Daily Worship

Ma Zebedee

Rhona Cathcart March 25, 2022 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash
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Matthew 20: 20-23 (NRSVA)

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him. 21 And he said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She said to him, ‘Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ 22 But Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We are able.’ 23 He said to them, ‘You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.’


The disciple brothers James and John are occasionally referred to as the ‘Sons of Thunder’. From the sounds of things it could be mum rather than dad whom the nickname refers to! At the very least, I think Ma Zebedee was the original Tiger Mama. Lots of cultures have stereotypes of pushy mothers. This isn’t all that surprising. It isn’t easy as a mother, to realise that you don’t always know what is best for your children. When they’re little, you feel so intensely the things that they are feeling that it’s hard not to believe you can actually see inside their heads. I have a friend who used to say to her kids “Put on your jacket, your mother’s cold.” As they grow you have to teach yourself that wanting what is best for them, longing for them to be happy; isn’t the same as knowing what is best for them, or being able to make them happy. What we can know, however, is that God does know what is best for them. He knows how much we love them, and that because they are precious we are demanding on their behalf. But when we pull our eyes away from thrones, titles, or other benefits for our own lineage, we see that all God’s children are precious. And so many of them have no one to speak up for them.




Lord teach me to be the thunder,

not on behalf of my own,

but on behalf of others.

Other mothers holding other children

in dark basements, along evacuation corridors,

under skies full of threat and danger.


May I have the courage to create a storm of righteousness

more powerful than the storm of war


Lord add your strength to our maternal voices,

that the world may hear us roar.

Lent Disciplines

Make a little bit of time each day this week to rest with God. Simply ‘be’ in God’s presence. You don’t need to do or say anything. Just take a moment of quiet to settle your mind.