Summary: Through His action of handing Mary to teh care of John Jesus demonstrates that all, including Mary, need to see Jesus as Saviour
No Special Privileges
There is something special about being the oldest son.
- You have a sense of responsibility.
- You have a special bond … you just feel you are favoured.
That is how it works doesn’t it. And it was exactly the same for Jesus.
Read John 19:16b-27
This is quite a telling situation … because of who is here and who is not.
Jesus Mother is here.
Where is Jesus earthly father Joseph? By this time he has passed away. Otherwise Jesus wouldn’t need to get John to help. So here is Mary, as a widow, watching her Son die.
How black, bleak, and burdened her soul must feel seeing her sinless Son dangle in-between Heaven and Earth.
As He draws His last breaths, He does so being made a public spectacle in the presence of all. Leaders and Crowds. Romans and Locals. Gentile and Jews. Even Angels and demons. With few friends and many enemies all watch in amazement as He perishes under the curse of sin. And there stands a mother in the audience being robbed of her first begotten Son.
Jesus’ Mother’s sister was there.
We can’t be sure what her name was although if we compare John gospel with Mark’s Gospel there is a possibility that her name is Salome. If it is Salome then she is also the mother of the Apostles James and John. Which would make John and Jesus cousins.
Mary, the wife of Clopas was there.
All we know is her name, who she was married to and that her sons were James the younger and Joses (Mark 15:41).
Mary Magdalene was there.
This was the woman who was demon possessed and Jesus cast seven demons out of her (Mark 16:9). She travelled with Jesus and shared her material resources with His band of followers. After Jesus died, she was present when Joseph of Aramithea laid Jesus in the grave and on Easter Sunday she was the first one at the empty tomb.
Who else is there?
Only John. Where are all the others?
They all ran. They all hid.
For a while Peter did come back, but after his denial of Jesus, he hasn’t been seen.
The only one who turns up is John – the youngest of the group.
Even those who were closest to him – who had journeyed the whole three years – not even they would wait and see what happens. Indeed they were not even the ones to bury Him.
Only John stays.
That is the scene we have before us as we read these few verses. When you look at a passage of Scripture like this it's relatively easy to work out what is happening.
A group of people have gathered around the cross. Some are family. Some are friends. One is a disciple. All have been united by grief.
And in that moment Jesus looks down to this crowd He has concern for His mother. So, at this moment Jesus organises a replacement son … John is going to take over from where Jesus left off.
That aspect of it is easy to enough to understand. But this whole situation raises some really good questions.
Why does Jesus use this specific moment to make these arrangements?
Everyone around the cross thinks that Jesus is finished.
But we know He is not finished. He is going to rise again.
Indeed after His resurrection and before He goes to heaven Jesus will still have be around for another 40 days. So why not sort the issue out then?
Or why didn’t he sort it out earlier. He has told His disciples a number of times that He is going to die … so why not sort it out before?
Why this moment? Here on the cross?
There is a reason why these private organisation details are made so public.
Let’s think about it from the perspective of Mary.
It was the same Mary who was spoken to by Simeon when Jesus was only 8 days old.
This is part of what he said.
This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too
Now here she is at the cross. She has seen so much and she has given so much. One of the things she would have given to Jesus was His clothes.
When their sons left home it was traditional for Jewish mothers at the time to provide their sons with an under-garment.
A little over three years prior to this event Mary would have spent time lovingly making the travelling clothes of Jesus … including his undergarment.