Then Salome, the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons and knelt down before him to make a special request. “Rabbi, we would like you to grant the request for what I am asking.”
“What would you like me to do for you?” he asked.
Salome replied, “Promise me that my two sons may sit next to you in your Kingdom – one on your right and the other on your left.” TJB 20:29-31
Salome (which means peace) was the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John. She was not only a fellow disciple but also a financial contributor to Jesus’ ministry. As her husband owned a fishing license she had probably accumulated some wealth over the years that allowed her to do so.
Early church history records that Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Salome were related and may have been sisters. If that is true, then Salome may have been Jesus’ auntie and James and John his cousins. And like Mary there is also the suggestion that Salome came from a priestly background as John her son was well known to the servants of Annas, the former High Priest (Chapter 26:36). This indicates John had been to Annas’ house in the past perhaps as a family relative?
Like the other disciples, she believed that the Messianic age was about to begin which meant the saints from the past would soon be joining them at the great banquet in Jerusalem. And after hearing Jesus tell the disciples that they would sit on 12 thrones and judge Israel she boldly asks for her sons to receive preferential treatment.