Who Is Zebedee In The Bible

Who is Zebedee in the Bible and what role did he play in the crucifixion of Jesus? Were his boats more important than his children when God stopped both from helping him? Why would Jesus grant such a request to follow Him with men who likely wouldn’t be able to make it past the first step away from shore? Reaching even as high as Peter, whom Jesus called Satan in paradise, these are puzzling questions that seem to extend beyond the cross. Were other references given to Zebedee’s character that show his involvement in the sale of Jesus? What was his previous history with Jesus, and what was Ben-be-El’s father like? Let’s find out…

Zebedee was a fisherman in Galilee and the father of the apostles James and John. He is described by Jesus to have sons about to become fishers of men. Here we will discuss Zebedee – his wives, death, age, children, discipleship and other important details pertaining to his life. We will also cover information on how Zebedee and his wife were related in relation to Christ.

Zebedee was an important man in the time of Christ. He was Jesus’ boss and Joesph’s father. Zebedee had two sons James and John who later became disciples of Jesus. What you need to know about Zebedee is that he was a fisher like his sons and he also was a boat owner…

Who Is Zebedee In The Bible

Zebedee appears in all four gospels as the father of two of Jesus’ most prominent disciples, James and John, who with Peter stood at the center of the Twelve. The three were privileged to witness the Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-8), the raising of Jairus’ daughter: “He permitted no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James” (Luke 8:51), and the private sorrow in Gethsemane (Matt 26:37). Zebedee, therefore, became known not because of his deeds (at least, none are recorded), but because he was the father of two famous sons who were among the Lord’s Twelve Apostles, one of whom wrote the beloved gospel according to John.

Zebedee and his two sons operated a thriving fishing business on the Sea of Galilee in partnership with another set of renowned brothers, Andrew and Peter (Luke 5:7-10). It must have been one of the larger public establishments of Capernaum because there were hired men (Mark 1:20). No doubt Zebedee was a man of means and influence, so much so that some believe he marketed some of his choice produce among the elite in Jerusalem (John 18:16).

The fishing business was radically changed the day that the call came to the two brothers. The picture we have from the gospels portrays Zebedee in a boat with his two sons and hired men, mending their nets on the shore of the Sea of Galilee when Jesus came by. “And…saw…James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in a boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him” (Matt 4:21, 22; Mark 1:19, 20). Although it must have harmed the fishing business somewhat, there is no record that he protested their forsaking a profitable business which one day would be theirs. On the contrary, there is reason to believe he continued the business because after the Resurrection Peter said: “I am going fishing” (John 21:3). It is possible that the business furnished much financial support for Jesus and His disciples during the years of our Lord’s ministry.

Who Is Zebedee In The Bible

Although the name Zebedee is mentioned often in the New Testament, there is very little known about the man himself. His name is mentioned almost entirely in connection with his two famous sons, James and John, disciples of Jesus Christ and two of the inner three disciples.

We do know that Zebedee was a fisherman by trade. When Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He called to James and John, who were “in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets” (Matthew 4:21). James and John immediately left their father to follow Jesus. The promptness of their obedience to Jesus’ call may indicate that Zebedee and his sons were already familiar with Jesus’ ministry and that Zebedee fully approved of his sons’ calling. In those days, following a rabbi and learning from him was an honor, and it would have reflected well on Zebedee and his family. Mark 1:20 gives the added detail that Zebedee employed hired hands, who were also in the boat, which suggests that Zebedee was a man of some means. It also means that James and John were not leaving their father without help.

Reading between the lines in the story of the miraculous catch of fish, it seems that Zebedee’s family was in a partnership with Simon Peter’s family in their fishing venture: “Simon Peter . . . and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners” (Luke 5:8–10).

Zebedee was married to Salome (see Matthew 27:56 and Mark 15:40), one of “the women who had followed [Jesus] from Galilee” (Luke 23:49). Due to Salome’s presence at the crucifixion and at the tomb of Jesus three days later, it is probable that Zebedee’s family were close followers of Jesus throughout His ministry.

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