The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

6. Women at the Cross



The women who attended Christ at the cross were as follows:

Matthew 27:56 tells us there were:
- Mary Magdalene,

- Mary the mother of James and Joses,
- The mother of Zebedee's children.

Mark 15:40 tells us there were:
- Mary Magdalene,
- Mary the mother of James the less and Joses,
- Salome.

Luke 24:10 tells us there were:
- Mary Magdalene,
- Joanna,
- Mary the mother of James,
- Other women.

John 19:25 tells us there were:
- Mary the mother of Jesus Christ,
- Christ's mother's sister,
- Mary the wife of Cleopas,
- Mary Magdalene.

 
Therefore logical deduction tells us that:

(1.) Salome was Zebedee's wife (Matthew 27:56), and was Christ's mother's sister (John 19:25). Therefore when Christ committed His mother to John, John was actually His cousin, and a believer, whereas Mary's other children were not believers at this time (John 7:5), they came to believe later (Acts 1:14).

(2.) Mary the mother of James the less and Joses could have been Christ's mother as He did have brethren with those names (Matthew 13:55), but it would have been odd for the gospel writers not to say she was the mother of Christ Himself. Having said that, maybe they were trying to stop people worshipping her (although John mentions Christ's mother).

Mary the mother of James the less and Joses was not the wife of Cleopas, because if the person with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus was his wife, she had left before the women went to the tomb early on the first day of the week. Matthew and Mark specifically say that Mary the mother of James and Joses was there then, but the wife of Cleopas did not give first hand knowledge of this to the risen Christ in Luke 24:22, only saying that "some women" said he was alive.

If "James the less" refers to the less well-known apostle James the son of Alphaeus, then Mary the mother of James the less and Joses would be Alphaeus's wife. (And Joses could be Judas (not Iscariot), who was also an apostle and James's brother (Luke 6:16)).

(3.) This means that there were four Mary's here:

- Mary Magdalene
- Mary the mother of James the less and Joses
(these two, with Salome, (Mark 16:1), Joanna and other women (Luke 24:10) went to anoint Christ's body on the resurrection morning)

- Mary the mother of Jesus Christ
- Mary the wife of Cleopas
(these two did not go with the party to anoint Christ's body on resurrection morning)