Son, Mother | Devotion #4: Not Alone
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor
Imagine if you will, Mary, the mother of Jesus, kneeling at the foot of the cross as Jesus is dying. She must have been heartbroken. She had friends nearby, but as she watched her son being crucified, and His painful, agonizing death, she must have wondered, “What will happen to me after He is gone?”
Joseph, Mary’s husband, is presumed to be dead. We do not know for sure, but he is never mentioned throughout Jesus’ three years of ministry, so likely he died before that time. Mary’s other sons did not believe in Jesus (John 7:5) and were not there. So as Jesus hangs on the cross, He sees His mother. Nearby He sees John, “One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). Where were the other apostles? Scripture tells us they all “left him and fled” (Matthew 26:56 and Mark 14:50).
As Jesus hung there, some of His last words are recorded in John 19:26-27, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” In the first statement, “Woman, behold your son,” He is speaking to His mother, Mary. He is telling Mary, this man (John) is now your son and will be responsible for you after my death. In the second, “Behold, your mother,” Jesus is speaking to John, telling him that now this woman is your mother, treat her accordingly.
There was a large crowd there that day, most in favor of the crucifixion of Jesus. The crowd was cheering Jesus’ death. Only a handful were followers of Jesus and were in disbelief of what was happening. Obviously, Mary and John were close enough to Jesus to hear Him speak, close enough for Jesus to look down and see them amongst the crowd. In Jesus’ last moments, His mind was on His mother and her care after His death. It was such an unselfish act!
These words would comfort Mary by letting her know she would not be alone. John would take her in as his own mother, and he would honor and respect her until her death.
These words would be a blessing to John. For Jesus to hand over the care of His mother to John would have been a great honor. John gladly obliged and cared for her as we see in Acts 1:14, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus.”
I could not even imagine what it must have been like for Mary to watch her son be crucified, but to know that John would be there for her and treat her as his mother must have eased the pain somewhat on that day. Jesus was gone, but she knew she would see Him again when she died! She was always by His side and believed in Him. A mother’s love is never-ending!