Summary: This statement speaks of the love and responsibility Jesus felt for his mother. But I also challenge you to see this from a different angle. His total obedience also showed the cost that total obedience can have on the family. We also see the cost of o
Today we come to the third week of our seven week series on the Statements from the Cross. Last week our statement was, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” A wonderful statement about salvation and what awaits those who put their trust and faith in Christ. We looked at four lessons that the thief on the cross with Jesus taught us. Today’s statement from the Cross takes us to the gospel of John. As Jesus was at the cross, near him were four faithful women who loved Jesus and would not abandon him during this difficult time. It was Jesus’ mother Mary, and Mary’s sister, probably Salome, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Along with the women was John, the only disciple who had not scattered in fear and dismay. All of them were people that Christ’s life had dramatically affected in one way or another. Let’s turn to see what Jesus had to say from the cross at that moment.
There are some who would look at this statement and think that Jesus was being abrupt and harsh by calling his mother “woman” instead of mother. We must remember in that culture that it was more of a term of respect and affection. To call our mother woman instead of mother in our culture would be harsh and disrespectful but not in theirs. But this statement from Christ speaks of the love and responsibility He felt for his mother. There are also some other things that this statement represents. I may speak of those things as well but I also want to go in a little bit of a different direction with this text this morning. Because when I look at this statement and the ramification of it I also see something else, the cost of total obedience and how that affects family.
When we look at Jesus we see the perfect picture of obedience. He was obedient to what the Father called Him to do to the very end. When we think of the cost of that total obedience we think of the pain that he endured, we think of the of his death on the cross. But I think this also shows us another cost of his obedience to His Father’s plan. His Father’s plan would involve his death and eventually leaving this world. This would mean leaving his mother behind. We don’t know at what point Joseph died, but he is never mentioned again after the time when Jesus went with Mary and Joseph to the Passover when he was twelve years of age. So sometime between the time Jesus was twelve to now when he was thirty-three Joseph had passed away. Which says to us that those children who have lost a parent at an early age that Christ has experienced your pain as well, He knows what’s it like to lose a parent too early. But with Joseph already gone I believe Jesus sensed an even stronger responsibility to make sure His mother was taken good care of. It was here at the cross that Jesus assigns his mother to be the mother of John, and for John to be her son and take Mary into her home. Now there is a lot of speculation about why Jesus didn’t assume that his brothers should take care of her. Some believe that it was because they weren’t at the cross at the time. Many believe that it was because of their lack of faith, spiritually they were not where they should be. At the time, they thought that their brother was a lunatic. John was a very close friend and disciple, who was a believer. I believe that Jesus wanted Mary to find her home in the company of a believer. That speaks very strongly to us about who our true family is. We all remember that time when Jesus’ family was looking for Him and He said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” So our real family in a sense is the church. So because of Jesus’ total obedience to His Father’s plan he had to entrust his mother, his physical family, to his spiritual family for her care. In the same sense, though none of us will most likely ever go through a crucifixion, our total obedience means we must sometimes entrust our physical family to our spiritual family. There maybe those of you today who have been called to ministry in some kind of form that may one day take you away from this area. You may have been raised in this area and lived in this area all of your life, and if that’s the case it makes it even that much more difficult. Especially if you are surrounded by your family here that can be a very difficult sacrifice. You may feel a certain responsibility to take care of someone in your family, but when God calls you on to other things, you must entrust your physical family to your church family. When Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to John he showed a loving trust that John would follow through. In the same way, we must show that same loving trust in our spiritual family that when we fulfill God’s call on our life they will follow through with their obligation to look after and care for their own. When I look at the next couple of years for the Ward family their will be some sacrifices ahead. In the next few months Chris will be going away to school in Oklahoma City as he pursues his call into the youth ministry. In the very next year Rosa will be going away to Anderson, Indiana as she has felt the call to the mission field. It would be easy for those kids to say, you know I can’t leave my parents all alone like that, they need me. But you must trust your parents and grandparents lives to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Your family will not be alone, we will take care of them. Through the church, God has entrusted us to a spiritual family no matter where we go. During the years that I’ve been away from my family they have gone through some challenges and difficult times, and I wished I could have been there. Though their have been times I’ve been able to run home briefly to be with them. But I have entrusted their lives to the God I serve and those believers who have become their family through the church. I put my faith and trust in them that they will meet my families needs and concerns. I believe that there are others of you sitting out here this morning, you may be youth age and you may not be, that God has or will place a call on your life for a special service for Him. That special service may take you to a different location. Just like it was required of Jesus, it will be required of you, to entrust your physical family to your spiritual family.