“Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping and desired a certain thing of Him.”
The earthly ministry of the Elect Servant of Yehovah was approaching the ultimate crescendo as the fullness of time had come and the last days were unfolding. Jesus told His disciples that Elijah had indeed come, in the fulfillment of the prophesy of Malachi, and they all understood He spoke of John the Baptizer (Matt. 17:13). This also meant that the “great and dreadful day of Yehovah had also come” (Mal. 4:5) and Jesus repeatedly told His followers the particulars of that day. He turned His conversation and His attention unto Jerusalem because that was the place where the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God had afore decreed that wicked hands should take the Anointed Lamb of God and slay Him. John announced this at the Jordan when Jesus came to be baptized as he proclaimed; “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). On several occasions during His ministry, His words enraged the people and they would come and take Him, some to make Him king and others to destroy Him, but they had no power over Him for His time had not yet come. Now, however, the time had come for the Lamb to be led to the slaughter in manifestation of the Lamb who stood slain from the foundation of the world.
Jesus began to show His disciples that He MUST go to Jerusalem and suffer many things, indeed all things written by the Law and the prophets, and that he was going to die, but in every instance where He spoke of the things which must shortly come to pass, He also proclaimed the resurrection. The sign of Jonah was for the evil and adulterous generation that had not been given to see the sign that stood before them but the resurrection was the testimony to the consummation of all things, yet the disciples did not understand. They were given to be taught of man of an earthly kingdom and every time Jesus spoke of His Kingdom, they associated it with the earthly one. The mother of these men did not come in the presumption that many accuse her of; she came in the sincerity of her understanding to offer up her sons, like Samuel, in the service of Messiah’s kingdom.
Nothing is recorded about the man Zebedee except that he was a fisherman who had at least two sons, James and John. These two were also fisherman and business partners with Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and his wife’s name was Salome. The fact that the Spirit gave the testimony of the names of these people is sufficient to give consideration to their actions for there are no coincidences or useless words in the recorded scriptures.
Zebedee name means ‘the gift or the dowry’ and his wife, Salome, is ‘peaceful’. She came in the carnal understanding she had of the upcoming kingdom based upon the words which Jesus spoke, for which she had no spiritual understanding. She brought forth the picture of the nation of Israel as she presented unto the Lord the ‘supplanter’ unto whom ‘God has been gracious’ (James – Gk. ‘Iakobos’ – Hb. ‘Jacob’ - supplanter and John – Gk. ‘Ioannes’ – Hb. ‘Ja-hakhanan’ – Jehovah has been gracious). Jesus had just finished speaking of those men who, forsaking all and following after Him, “shall sit upon twelve thrones judging Israel” (Matt. 19:28) and the Salome was given to present the peaceful gift of the child of promise upon whom Yehovah had been gracious.
Salome did not come in a presumptuous posture when she approached Jesus; she came worshipping Him. No she had not come in Spirit and in truth as is the only acceptable manner in which Yehovah God can be properly worshipped but she had come in the accepted manner of man. She presented herself as being under the care and command of her master as she ‘kissed the hand like a dog’ (worshipped) and ‘begged’ her cause before Him. She had been raised to believe in this earthly kingdom and no doubt anticipated the day when she could, like Hannah who ‘heard from God’ (Samuel) and presented her son “that he may appear before Yehovah and there abide for ever” (I Sam. 1:2). “For this child I prayed and Yehovah has given me my petition which I asked of Him, therefore also, I have given him unto Yehovah; as long as he lives he shall be given unto Yehovah and he bowed down before Yehovah there” (1:28).
“And He said unto her; What do you have in mind? She said unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, one on you right hand and the other on your left, in your kingdom”.
The natural mind cannot comprehend the all inclusive nature of the Godhead. Moses taught the children of Israel that Yehovah God is all completely joined together as one (Deut. 6:4). The kingdom of God is the sovereign rule He possesses in Himself over all things which proceed from Him. Jesus spoke many time of His resurrection which is the first or the ‘primary’ resurrection. All His children, whom the Father gave unto Him, are in Him. They have been raised up together in Him and are seated in Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). These have been blessed to have their part in Him who is the first resurrection and the second death has no power over them (Rev. 20:6) and they are one in Him as He is in the Father (John 17:21).
There is only one place of authority, the right hand, in the Kingdom of God and that is where He sits and rules over all creation. He is the Son who is given and His name is the wonderful counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. He made Himself of no reputation because there was none other who was qualified in nature, power or understanding to bring salvation unto Himself. He took on Himself the form of the servant, made in the likeness of sinful man, that he might redeem His people from the righteous demands of the Law of God. Because He is faithful and has finished the work, fulfilling every jot and tittle of the law in all righteousness, He is seated in this place of authority, “on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). He is not separate from the Father, for the Godhead is one (everything joined together in one) yet He is seated in this place of authority for by Him, and through Him and for Him were all things made that are made. Therefore He, as the Son, is thankful that the Father “has given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him” (John 17:2). He is the Salvation of Yehovah and there is none other. Salome proceeded from a false pretense of understanding as many do today to think of the kingdom of God in the confines of the creation and after the references and imaginations of the natural mind. Jesus knew her question before it was asked and He knew the thoughts of her heart. He does not rebuke her for her arrogant presumption but rather He rebukes her nature in Adam which cannot know the things of God.
“But Jesus answered her and said, You do not know what you ask”
This statement is directed to both Salome and her two sons. Jesus indicates that all the teaching of man concerning His kingdom is erroneous and that the anticipations of the nation of Israel are wrong. He reveals the land of Shinar and identifies the two rivers; one being of the earth visible and the other the reality in heaven. There is no one who can assume the place of power with God save He who was manifested to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. There is none born of Adam who has the mind of God or can find out His ways or the work which He has done from the beginning. The governmental structures and methods of operation that man is familiar with, even the standard of the nation of Israel, are weak and corrupt being of this habitation while the eternal kingdom of Almighty God is unaffected by these frailties.
Jesus asks a rhetorical question here because He knows that the disciples have no concept of what is about to happen, even though He has told them. He, by this question, shows forth the perfect and just requirements of the Law of God, the inability of man to meet these demands and the ignorance of Adam’s children to the things of God. “Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
He speaks here of the cup of the wrath of God which He should drink as He who knew no sin became the sin of His people. This cup contains the fullness of God’s righteous judgment against the inherent inability in Adam and the daily persistent performance in demonstration of that inability to ‘hit the mark’ for His seed as they dwell in the body of this death. The disciples may have been taught of such a thing but they knew not what it was. The religions of the world excuse this as a fear tactic of theology to scare people into repentance and compliance. This is the cup which Yehovah commanded the prophet Jeremiah (whom Yah has appointed) to take and make all nations to drink of (25:15) which is the ‘wine cup of the fury of God’. All nations are appointed to drink of this cup but Yehovah has laid upon His Lamb the sin of His people and they have indeed done so (25:28). The children of Adam have drunk well and are drunk. They have fallen down and have been made mad because to the sword which Yehovah has sent among them but the children of the kingdom of our God have not so drunk.
The fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Jesus. He is the righteousness of God and the judgment that should come. He is also the cup of the wrath of God which is manifested against the ungodliness of man. He is also the only one who could endure the contradiction of sin against Himself and so when the inability of His people in Adam was laid upon Him, the wrath of God was poured out, in measure, against the sin which He bore. The obedient son of God took the cup while the son of man prayed; “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not my will but Your will be done” (Matt.26:39). This is the cup which He was referring to and to which James and John answered; “We are able”.
Jesus also spoke of a baptism which He was baptized with. There is no record of Jesus going down into the water from this point in His ministry until He ascended back into heaven and the only other baptism was the time when He ‘fulfilled all righteousness’ and went into the water with John. His disciples had done the same with John and therefore, if Jesus was speaking of water baptism, they indeed did have the same baptism which He had; but that was not what He spoke of. Jesus spoke of His death upon the cross and His resurrection on the third day. This is the sign of Jonah which was given to the people and concealed from their understanding until after it was manifested as being complete. Jesus told the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and they thought it was to establish His earthly reign. When they entered into the city and the people hailed Him their resolve was deepened that the time had come but when the sword of the Lord struck the shepherd, all the sheep were scattered. He was crucified, buried and raised again on the third day, this was the baptism of which He spoke and of which James and John said; “We are able”.
“And He said unto them; You shall drink indeed of My cup and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.”
Jesus was not here congratulating His disciples for their willingness to accompany Him to the grave; He was demonstrating the unity of Him and His people. The sin which is imputed unto the sacrifice is commensurate to the people who have been ‘shut up unto sin’ (Gal. 3:22). Contrary to a popular notion, the blood which is shed is not a reservoir of blood which awaits whosoever will to come and wash their garments in, take a cleansing bath or to drink thereof. The blood that is shed is the exact amount of blood necessary for the sin of the people. In the type set forth in the wilderness, Moses did not instruct Aaron to reserve a little amount off to the side for any sins which a person may have forgotten to confess, or to set some aside for any of the indigenous people of the wilderness of Sinai who may have been persuaded to come and partake. The sin of the people was laid upon the head of the live animal which was led by a fit man without the camp and set free to indicate that God had separated the sin of His people as far as the east is from the west. The second animal was to be slain and the blood to be poured out, then struck upon the horns of the alter of the covenant, the Mercy Seat, as the atonement for sin. This sacrifice for sin is the Lamb of God, the sin is the sin of His people who have been appointed to become partakers of flesh and blood is sufficient; “By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is the fruit to take away his sin” (Is. 27:9).
The unity of God and His people is as inseparable as the Godhead. Everything is contained in the Godhead from all things are by the power of His will and continue by the good pleasure of that same will. This is openly declared in the type of the creation. He spoke, “Let there be light” and it was so and all things came into manifestation by and through that command. When He finished His work on the seventh day, all things were created that were to be created and everything was exactly as he intended. He created the light and He formed the darkness; He assigned the lights in the sky for times and seasons and fashioned man from the dust of the earth a subject of these times and season. He formed from the same lump of clay (the combination of the body formed from the dust being born of water) vessels of honour and vessels of dishonour according to the specifications of his design but His seed is in Him. In the appointed time, He causes His seed to be born from above and become inhabitants of vessels which He has afore prepared unto this glory. This seed is One in Him and He in them as He is One in the Father and nothing can separate them. This is manifested in the wonders of His creation as “the heavens declare His glory and the firmament shows forth His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).
Adam was created with his seed in him also for he was created in the image of God, male and female created He them. Every child of Adam is identical to their father no matter how the corrupt mind of the creature shall speculate and pontificate about natural selection and evolution of the species. Everything that is demonstrated in Adam is the inherent nature of his seed and when he displayed his inability to hear and obey God and sin entered into the world, that inability is unto all his seed and death by that sin; “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death is passed upon all men for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rms. 5:12). This type as seen in the creation is a shadow of heavenly things.
The eternal God has His seed in Him and since He is faithful as the builder of the house, so all His children, His house, His Bride, His body is faithful, without spot or blemish. The Lamb stood as he had been slain from the foundation of the world because sin was ordained of old and Adam was created incapable of obedience, therefore Messiah stood baptized in His death, burial and resurrection before man was even formed from the dust of the earth. This is the baptism “that I AM baptized with” and indeed as He was crucified, buried and rose again on the third day, so all His people are with Him being in Him; “Your dead shall live with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in the dust, for your dew is the dew of the herbs ad the earth shall cast out the dead” (Is. 26:19), “After two days will He revive us in the third day He will raise us up and we shall live in His sight” (Hos. 6:2).
“And when the ten heard they were moved with indignation against the two brethren”
The beauty of the fulfillment of this is that indeed the dowry of the Beloved is eternal life unto His children of promise; “Therefore being justified by His faith we have peace with God” (Rms. 5:1). The disciples, Judas included, had been given the anticipation of the empire of Messiah and when they heard the words of Jesus to Jacob and Ja-hakhanan, they assumed that He was promoting them above the others. Judas was a son of perdition who was ordained to betray Jesus unto His death in defense of this earthly kingdom and even he was offended when Jesus spoke of heavenly things, for the carnal mind is enmity with God.
The grace of God is upon His beloved. Jesus spoke of the twelve thrones and they which heard Him concluded the subject in an earthly plain. His meaning, however, is not of this world. All who have followed Him in the regeneration, wherein He who was dead now lives because of His resurrection, are indeed, Kings and Priests unto God. “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:5). The earthly type was the twelve judges who dwelt in twelve cities, one each in the twelve providences of the inheritance of Israel and judged Israel. The fulfillment is a kingdom of kings and priest who do not judge the world but rather judge themselves. This is the body fitly framed together each member supplying the needs of each other, wherein Messiah is the head. All who have part in the first resurrection, which is when he brought forth His generation and declared them before the Father, saying; “Behold I and the children, whom Yehovah has given Me for signs and for wonders in Israel from Yehovah of Host, which dwells in mount Zion” (Is. 8:18).
The regeneration is not a testimony to the world for the natural man cannot see the beauty of spiritual things. The witness is for the Israel of our God who have the fellowship in His sufferings and are made partakers of the power of His resurrection. This is Jacob whom He as loved with an eternal love and who has been delivered by grace through faith, and that not of Adam. This is that peace which is far above the understanding of the creature which keeps the hearts and minds of His Beloved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
“There is one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all” (Eph. 4:4).
The children of hope live by faith while the children of the dust look for that which can be seen. The subjects of the kingdom of God groan while in this habitation awaiting the deliverance when this tabernacle shall be laid down while the sons of the flesh are comforted and encouraged by the weak and beggarly elements of this world. The testimony of Jesus Christ is a finished work as the children walk in the light of Yehovah keeping every jot and tittle in all righteousness. Adam is still fashioning aprons of fig leaves while teaching traditions and customs as doctrine and desperately seeking signs and wonders in the earth and heavens. This is indeed the land of Shinar.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 22, 2015