Salome: A Place of Rebuke
The second person I want us to consider is Salome. She was Mary’s sister, the Mother of James and John, and the wife of Zebedee. We remember her as the woman who came to Jesus with her sons, asking Him to let them be enthroned on his right hand and His left hand in His Kingdom. (Matt 20: 20-28)
If we asked Salome what the cross meant to her, I think she could have replied, ‘The Cross to me is a place of rebuke’. I stand here rebuked because of my selfishness. I wanted my two sons to have the place of honour. And yet I stand here seeing Jesus on a cross, not on a throne, and I’m ashamed of myself for praying as I did.’
Salome wanted something grand and glorious for her sons, but she didn’t consider what the answer to her prayer would cost them and her. Her prayer was born of pride and arrogance, not of humility. She was concerned only about her sons, not about the glory of the Lord.
Thrones are something we have to deserve, and for Jesus, the way to the throne was through the cross. First the suffering, then the glory... Salome had forgotten the cost of reigning with Jesus: ‘If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him’ (2 Tim 2:12) If we want to wear the crown, we must be willing to drink the cup.
No Christian rises any higher than his or her prayer life, and sometimes the selfish things we do come from selfish praying. How can we pray selfishly in the light of the cross? How can we ask for easy lives when Jesus had to endure so much?
God delights to honour His servants, and one day we will share in His glory. But before the glory there must come the suffering. ‘But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered for a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.’ (1 Pet 5:10)
Major Glad Ljungholm