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Patrick Reardon - The Queen Mother

Patrick Reardon - The Queen Mother

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Published by: api-3769729 on Oct 16, 2008
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03/18/2014

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''O u e e n M o th e r '}
Q
John seem s to ta p a H ebrew political tradition to show M ary in an exaltedr o l e .
U
n itin g J o h n 's p o rtra y a l o f M a ry a t th e
w e d d in g a t C a n a ( th e b e g in n in g o f
J e s u s ' e a rth ly m in is try ) a n d a t th e
f o o t o f t h e c r o s s ( t h e e n d ) is w h a t w e
m ig h t c a ll " th e th e m e o f th e ro y a l

m o th e r." J o h n s tre s s e s M a ry 's m a te rn a l re la tio n s h ip toJ e s u s ; h is u se o f th e te rm "m other ofJ e s u s " seem s to convey a

c e rta in re v e re n c e , m u c h as it d o e s in
L u k e 's p o rtra y a l o f th e n a s c e n t C h u rc h
g a th e re d in th e u p p e r r o o m , w a itin g fo r
th e c o m in g o f th e H o ly S p irit (A c ts
1 :1 4 )." H a il,K in g o f t h e J e w s !"
T h is m a te rn a l re la tio n s h ip o f M a ry t o
J e s u s is lin k e d t o J o h n 's e m p h a s is o n J e -
s u s 'k in g s h ip , p a r tic u la r ly in th e c o n te x t

o f h is p a s s io n . M a n y B ib le s c h o la r s h a v e n o te d h o wJ o h n g o e s t o s o m e le n g th t o s tre s s th a tJ e s u s d ie d a s ak in g . U n lik e

t h e o t h e r e v a n g e lis ts . J o h n s h o w s h o w
J e s u s ' c la im t o k in g s h ip w a s m a d e a m a -
jo r c o m p o n e n t o f h is tr ia l b e fo re P ila te
(1 8 :3 3 ,3 6 -3 7 ). T h e R o m a n s o ld ie rs
m o c kJ e s u s w ith th e w o rd s . " H a il, K in g
of the J e v \u00ab !" (19:2) A t the last iti s Jesus'
a s s e r tio n o f h is k in g s h ip t h a t b e c o m e s
th e d e c is iv e c h a rg e le a d in g d ir e c tly t o
h is c o n d e m n a tio n (1 9 :1 2 -1 5 ). A lth o u g h
t h e o t h e r g o s p e ls d o s p e a k o f t h e s ig n
o v e rJ e s u s ' c ro s s id e n tify in g h im a s " K in g
o f th e Jew s" (M a tth e w 2 7 :3 7 ; M a rk
1 5 :2 6 ;L u k e 2 3 :3 8 ) . o n ly in J o h n d o e s
th is d e s ig n a tio n b e c o m e a p o in t o f c o n -
tro v e rs y b e tw e e n P ila te a n dJ e s u s ' a c -
c u s e rs (J o h n 1 9 :1 8 -2 2 ), th e re b y d ra w in g
m o re e x p lic it a tte n tio n t o it.I n J o h n 's
a c c o u n tJ e s u s is e v e n b u r ie d ina g a r d e n
(1 9 :4 1 ), lik e H is ro y a l a n c e s to rs , th e
c o v e n a n t e d k in g s o f J u d a h ( 2 K in g s
2 1 :1 8 ,2 6 ).J e s u s ' c r o s s ,th e n , is in s e p a -
rable fro m
h is k in g s h ip .
N o w it is in c o n n e c tio n w ith Jesus"
kingship on the cross thatJ o h n speaks
o f " th em o th e r o fJ e s u s " (1 9 :2 5 ). In p la c -
in g th is d e s c r ip tio n o f M a ry in th is c o n -

t e x t o f k in g s h ip . J o h n s u m m o n s t o m in d th e b ib lic a l tr a d itio n o f th e q u e e n m o th - e r. B ib lic a l k in g s s o m e tim e s h a d n u m e r -

R O Y A LT Y B Y A S S O C IA T IO N . T h e p o rtra y a l o f M a ry c ro w n e d in m a je s ty a p p e a re d firs t,
in W e s te rn a r t, in th e 6 th c e n tu ry a n d re a p p e a re d la te r in R o m a n e s q u ea n d
G o th ic a rt.
In m a n y o fth e s e im a g e s , as th is a lta rfro n t fr o m L is b je rg ( I 1 2 5 -5 0 ), M a ry c le a rly d e riv e s
h e r m a je s tya n d
a u th o rity fro m h e r S o n .
o u s w iv e s , b u t th e y h a d o n ly o n e m o t h -
e r, a n d s h e w a s a p e rs o n o f c o n s id e r-
a b le p re s tig e a n d p o w e r. D e s c rib e d as
w e a r in g a c r o w n (J e re m ia h 1 3 :1 8 ) in

th e ro y a l c o u rt (2 2 :2 6 ; 2 9 :2 ), th e k in g 's m o th e r, th eg e b ira , w a s re g a rd e d w ith re v e re n c e b y h is s u b je c ts .

" M o th e r of m y
L o rd "

To gain a proper sense of the differ- e n c e b e t w e e n a b ib lic a l k in g 's w if e a n d h is m o th e r, o n e n e e d o n ly c o m p a re

tw o scenes found close together in the F irs t B o o k o f K in g s . In th e firs t o f th o s e s c e n e s . B a th s h e b a " b o w e d d o w n a n d

d id h o m a g e " t o h e r h u s b a n d D a v id
(1 :1 6 );in t h e s e c o n d , h o w e v e r , h e r s o n

S o lo m o n " r o s e u p t o m e e t h e r a n d b o w e d d o w n t o h e r . a n d s a t o n h is th ro n e a n d h a da th ro n e s e t fo r th e

k in g 's m o t h e r ; s o s h e s a t a t h is r ig h t
h a n d " (2 :1 9 ).
S u ch re g a rd fo r th e q u e e n m o th e r

w a s m o s t c o n s p ic u o u s in t h e lin e o f t h e c o v e n a n te d D a v id ic k in g s , S o lo m o n b e - in g th e firs t. W e o b s e rv e th a t in th e p a s - s io n a c c o u n tsJ e s u s is n o t c a lle d t h e

" K in g o f I s r a e l," b u t s p e c ific a lly " t h e
K in g o f th e J e w s ." It is th e ro y a l h o u s e

o f J u d a h t h a t is e n v is a g e d . N o w in a ll b u t t w o in s ta n c e s th e B o o k s o f K in g s e x p lic - itly n a m e th e m o th e rs o f th e k in g s o fJ u -

d a h ,
in s trik in g c o n tra s t to th e
u n c o v e n a n te d k in g s o fIs ra e l. J o h n 's s im -
p le re fe re n c e to "th e m o th e r o f J e s u s ."
th e n , e v o k e s th is a n c ie n t in s titu tio n o f
J u d a h 's ro y a lty . M a ry ta k e s h e r p la c e a s
th e la s t a n d g re a te s t o f th e q u e e n m o th -
e rs o fJ u d a h , (In L u k e th is e v o c a tio n is
conveyed by the expression "m other of
m yL o rd " in1 :4 3 ).
\u2014P a tric k
H e n ry
R e a rd o n
C H R IS T IA N
H IS T O R Y
&
B IO G R A P H Y

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