Re: On the right and left of Jesus (fwd)

Jack Kilmon (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 23:43:36 -0600

Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

> If I understand you correctly, you would argue that "right and left"
> refers to places of honor in Jesus' answer because he did not have
> the authority to grant it. However, Jesus goes on to say that they
> "belong[ed] to those for whom they have been prepared by the Father."
> I would say that Matthew's (and Mark's) audience was surely familiar
> with the Is53:12 prophetic proof-text ("and he was numbered with the
> transgressors") as some MSS of Mark attest at 15:27. Thus, Jesus'
> comments can be understood to mean that those places at his "right and
> left" had been prepared at least as far back as Isaiah the prophet,
> if not earlier.

The two disciples who were seeking places of honor by Jesus side
were his two cousins, Yaqub and Yohanon bar Zebediya. The issue should
be perceived more from their own Jewish standpoint rather than the
hellenized perspective. It is ironic that the one thing that gentile
Christianity leaves out of its eschatology is the central and primary
focus of Jesus' ministry...the coming of the "Kingdom of God." Messiahship
dictated a messianic dynasty explaining the assumption of the leadership
of the "kingdom movement" Yeshuine Jews by Jesus' brother Yaqub (James).
Johnny and Jimmy Zeb believed they had important roles in the
coming "kingdom" by right of their close blood ties to the Messiah. I think
Jesus had planned for his brother to assume that role until his "return."
This is indicated by Logion 12 in the Gospel of Thomas.

"The disciples said to Jesus, `We know that you will depart from
us. Who is to be our leader?' Jesus said to them, `Wherever you are, you
are to go to James the Righteous, for whose sake Heaven and earth came into

In other words, "Sorry Johnny and Jimmy. The spot's been taken."

Jack Kilmon