There are seven sayings of Jesus from the cross. The first was a word of forgiveness: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” The second was a word of salvation. In response to the thief’s requests, Jesus said, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Today, we will look at the third statement in John 19. We read about a word of love. It was a word of affection spoken to His mother and from it we see that:
He Saw His Mother
At the foot of the cross there were the enemies of Christ but also friends and family. We can’t do life alone. We need others around us! “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother…” (Jn. 19:25-26). Here is a simple question. When is the last time you saw or talked to your mother? Take time to see, call, and check on your parents. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother.” When you are young obey them (Eph. 6:1). As an adult child you don’t have to obey them, but you honor them for life. Jesus had flawed parents, yet He submitted to them and honored them. Only perfect kids can demand perfect parents. Don’t get so busy you forget your parents. Jesus is dying on the cross for the sins of the world and He makes sure His mother Mary is cared for by John.
He Supported His Mother
When Jesus said, “Behold your son” (Jn. 19:26), He was not referring to Himself. He probably nodded at John. He was making gracious provision for Mary in the years to come. He was delegating John the responsibility to care for Mary in her old age. Honoring your parents means you understand that there is a cycle to life and God has placed both parents and children in that cycle with responsibilities to one another. It is not the role of the government to raise your kids. It is not the role of government to care for your parents. Caring for them in their old age is our responsibility. That does not mean they have to live with you, but it does mean that you see they get the care that they deserve. In this case, we read that John took Mary to his home (Jn. 19:27). John 20 tells us that John and Peter ran to the tomb on Sunday and when John saw the grave clothes he believed and went to his home. John went home to tell Mary that Jesus is alive! If something happened to you tomorrow would your family be taken care of?
He Saved His Mother
Before the birth of Jesus, Mary poured out her praise in worship after the angel spoke to her. In Luke 1:46-47, Mary says, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior….” Mary had to believe, and she called Him “God by Savior.” Jesus never called Mary “mother” in Scripture, but rather “woman.” It was not a term of disrespect, but shows that Jesus was more than her son, He was her savior. Do your parents know Jesus as Savior?
In Japan, there is a mountainous area which for centuries was called, “The Place Where You Leave Your Mother.” It was so named because of the custom of taking the old and feeble up to the top of the mountain to die. One day a strong young man carried his aged mother through the dense forest. As they move up the mountain for the purpose both understood but neither talked about, the young man began to notice something. “Why,” he asked his mother, “do you continue to break small branches along the way?” Looking at him through eyes dimmed by everything but love, she said, “So that you will not get lost on the way back home.”
There is nothing like a mother’s love and there is no greater gift you can give your parents than a relationship with Jesus. What will matter when you face death is family, loved ones, friends, and others. And what will matter most is what you and they have done with Jesus.
1. The Murder of Jesus, MacArthur, pg 216
2. Famous Parents of the Bible, Brian Harbour, pg 88