The Unknown Perspective


Sometimes I like to think about the unnamed characters in the Bible, the perspective we don’t get to hear about.

Take, for instance, Zebedee’s wife. I’ve been thinking on this paragraph, where Jesus asks James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to follow him, to be his disciples, to become fishers of men.

“When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”

~ Mark 1:19-20

I wonder how his wife responded when Z came home that day, minus her two sons. She probably had dinner waiting for them, she was ready to hear about the day’s profits for the family business, and she learned that her two sons had left to follow Jesus.

I just wonder what she thought.

Did her heart break with the news that they were gone, in an age of no options for long distance communication?

Was she concerned for their family’s financial well being, minus these two strong fishermen?

I wonder if she wished she had more time.

Sometimes sacrifice is a decision.
Sometimes the decision is made for you.

Maybe she was delighted to serve, honored to sacrifice, joyful to know Jesus had called her sons.

Maybe she had some serious questions for her husband.

Maybe she had been praying for some clear direction in her sons’ lives. Maybe this was a beautiful answer.

Some part of her must have been sad, at least a little.

James and John followed Jesus that day.
Their lives were changed,
Jesus changed the lives of others through them,
and their mother let them go that day,
when perhaps she wasn’t expecting to at all.

Sometimes sacrifice is a decision.
Sometimes the decision is made for you.

I don’t know. Just thinking out loud.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I often think of Job’s wife. She lost her children and her wealth, too. And her husband went out to sit on an ash heap covered with boils. What was going on in her head? In her faith? Did she have faith? Not like Job’s since she told him to curse God and die already. But my, how I wonder about her.

  2. I like it when you think out loud, Tricia!

  3. Sermon was on this passage today! I was thinking of Zebedee and how he must of felt as his boys walked away….away from the life he thought he would always share with them. I wonder if he longed to go, too. I wonder if he felt a bit lost trying to do alone what had once been done by three.

    • Oh, I like that perspective too – I love thinking about the people inside these stories. I love remembering that they are real people, with real lives, real responses and emotions.

  4. I love those thoughts. I am currently doing a study by Beth Moore called “Beloved Disciple” and she asks us to look at those tiny little details (not the specific one you mentioned, but kind of along the same lines). I love new perspective. I hadn’t thought about their mother. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, April – sounds like that’s a book I need to read!

      • You don’t have to publish this comment, but I wanted to give you a link to one of the posts in my blog: It is kind of along the same lines as your post today. I wrote it a couple weeks ago. P.S. I love your blog! I can’t wait to read your book!

        • I really appreciate this, April. Thank you – I look forward to reading. 🙂
          (It posted on its own when I checked my email, but I’m sure not retrieving it.) 🙂

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