Here is Salome’s Story. Enjoy it and think about the message Salome has for you.
My name is Salome. I am one of the older women who traveled with Jesus and supported his ministry with my work, my presence and with financial backing. My sister Mary, Jesus’ mother, was grateful that I was able to be part of his group. She felt I was caring for him.
As a child, Jesus’ astonished us with his compassion and caring for his family, friends and even strangers. The only time I can remember Mary and Joseph being upset with Jesus, happened in Jerusalem. A whole group of us had gone to the city to celebrate the Passover. We were a full days travel into the trip home when Mary came looking for Jesus. She thought, he was with us. My husband and I hurried back to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph. We searched everywhere. I remember Mary lamenting, “Jesus wouldn’t just run away. Someone has taken him by force. He may be injured. We have to find him. He’s my responsibility. I promised God I would care for him.” When we could think of no where else to look, we went to the temple to pray. There he was, sitting with the priests and rabbis. We were relieved and angry, all at once.
The young scamp responded, “Why were you worried. You knew I’d be here.”
I thought Mary was going to explode. Both she and Joseph kept silence on the way home, but I’m sure Jesus heard plenty later.
When Jesus started traveling the countryside preaching and healing, a number of families went with him. You’ve been told about the inner twelve men, but there were many more, women and children too. In fact it was the women of property, like myself, who contributed most of the financial support for his ministry. I remember Mary of Magdala and Joanna in particular. They gave freely of their wealth to meet the expenses of Jesus’ ministry. In our world, women were considered possessions useful only to produce children and be homemakers. Jesus honoured us as part of the leadership of his ministry. We listened to him preach, we cared for him, and the people who followed him.
For a while, it was wonderful. The crowds increased. The healing miracles seemed endless. When the rumours started we were surprised. How could anyone fear Jesus? Why would anyone want to harm him. All he talked about was loving God and loving others. Well, he did criticize some of the temple leaders and he treated women as equals. Some people definitely weren’t happy with him, but I didn’t think they’d hurt him. The Roman authorities worried about anyone among us who was popular. Once some people started talking of Jesus as the Messiah, the attitude of the Romans changed. They began to see him as dangerous, a rebel leader. He became a threat to the peace and order of the empire.
I remember the day his mother and brothers came to see him. I’m sure they wanted him to slow down, to do less, to come home and resume his work in Joseph’s carpentry shop where he would be safe. Jesus would have none of it. He wouldn’t even speak to them. He had started on a path and nothing they could say or do would stop him.
As long as Jesus stayed up in Galilee he was safe, but for some reason, he was determined to go to Jerusalem. You know what happened when he did.
Our arrival in Jerusalem was wonderful. We shouted and cheered and waved palm branches. We felt as if he truly was the Messiah and the victory had already been won. He planned all that you know. I heard him send the disciples for that donkey colt.
“Tell them the master has need of it,” he said.
He followed our parade with that chaos in the temple. Jesus saw all those poor people being cheated. He was angry, really angry. I’m sure that’s what did it. That’s what gave his enemies an excuse to act.
It wasn’t long until he was arrested. The whole time is etched in my memory. I see it when I lay down to sleep, and when I wake up. We stayed with him as best we could. We followed him as he staggered with that heavy cross beam through the streets, his body broken and bleeding. We stood, tears streaming down our faces when they nailed him to that cross. His mother watched it all, she would not leave him. Many of the men ran away in fear. We believed that being women no one would want to harm us, so we stayed with him. I’ll never forget his voice crying out from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Our dreams were finished. He was dead. We went with Joseph of Arimathea and his servants when they carried Jesus’ body to the tomb. It was almost Sabbath, preparing his body would have to wait till dawn. In our culture, it is the women’s privilege to wash the body and wrap it in spices. As soon as the sun began to rise, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary his mother, and myself hurried to the tomb. We loved Jesus with our whole hearts. This was the last thing we could do for him.
“How will we roll away the stone that seals the tomb?” I asked.
“Don’t worry,” Mary Magdalene answered, “I’ll bribe the guards.
When we arrived, the garden was empty. The tomb was open. We looked inside and saw two angels.
“He is risen, just as he said. Go and tell the others,” they commanded.
Terrified! Astonished! Confused! We turned and ran.
It was on our way back to tell the others, that we met him, the risen Christ. That’s right, we saw him. We fell at his feet.
“You’re alive,” we shouted, “alive”.
There are no words to describe our joy. We were so excited we could hardly breathe. Right then and there He commissioned us. He told us to go and tell the others. That’s right, he told us to carry the message. Our mission wasn’t over it was just beginning. Eventually, he talked to all of the inner group, but he spoke to us, a group of women, first. He asked us to carry his message first!