Sunday

18 March 2012

"Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, 'Woman, here is your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Here is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home." (vv. 25-27)

Background

The Synoptic Gospel writers Matthew and Luke begin with Jesus' incarnation (or birth), whereas John begins with Jesus' pre-incarnation (John 1:1-2): "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God."

John goes on to help his readers grasp the uniqueness of Jesus' deity and humanity, and of the relationship with him that could be theirs. "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God ... And the Word became flesh and lived among us ... grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:12, 14, 17)

Mary saw Jesus arrive as a baby boy, and was near him as he died, crucified at Calvary, as Saviour for all. From the cradle to the cross; from the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) to mourning, and beyond (Acts 1:14), Mary demonstrated her love for Jesus. With her at the cross, were three other women: Clopas' wife, Mary; Jesus' mother's sister, whom John does not name, probably because it his own mother, Salome, wife of Zebedee (Matthew 27:56Mark 15:40); and Mary Magdalene, who remembered all that Jesus had done for her, in delivering her from demon-possession, and lovingly follows Jesus to the end (Mark 16:9Luke 8:2).

From the cross, Jesus, while experiencing excruciating agony and suffering, selflessly looks down and speaks words of comfort to loved ones (verses 26-27). His words to his mother and 'the beloved disciple' (traditionally assumed to be John, the author) show Jesus' tender loving care, and compassion. He entrusts Mary to his most loyal friend, John, and John to Mary's care - mother and son, a family of believers, with mutual responsibility.

To Ponder

Do you know Christ as "Jesus" who 'saves you from your sins'? How much time will you set aside today to thank Jesus for his saving grace?

The women, with John, followed Jesus to the end. What steps will you take in order to strengthen your discipleship with God (eg prayer, fellowship, Bible study, Holy Communion, worship, service)?

As followers of Jesus, we should treat all people (including our loved ones, and our church family) with loving compassion, care and understanding. What will you do today to show your care, comfort or understanding to a member of your family (church or other), or someone in your community or workplace?

Bible notes author: Carmel Ieraci

  • Sign up for e-newslettersKeep in touch with what interests you