John 19:25-27 – “standing by 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 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.”
I will never forget the look on my wife’s face each time she held one of our newly born five children. The look of love, devotion, concern, and affection radiated from her. Holding each of our babies, she counted 10 fingers and 10 toes. Jesus’ mother Mary likely did the same thing, not foreseeing that one day those same hands and feet would be nailed to a Roman cross.
Hanging, perhaps at eye level, Jesus and Mary were in anguish. Since her husband Joseph is not mentioned after the earliest years of Jesus life, many think she was a widowed single mother. Although Jesus has half-sisters and brothers, none are mentioned to be present at His death. Standing with Mary is her sister who is Jesus’ aunt. These are the only members mentioned from Jesus’ biological family.
Standing with them watching in horror, are Jesus’ spiritual family members. Mary Magdalene was a woman devoted to Jesus’ ministry. Also present was John, Jesus’ best friend and the “one whom Jesus loved”. John was the epitome of Proverbs 18:24, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The fact that Jesus assigned John to pastor His mom tells us everything we need to know about the care and character of John.
Judas stopped following Jesus. Peter followed Jesus at a distance. But, John followed Jesus closely until the end. Writing John’s Gospel as an older man many years later, he was the last living disciple and remained faithful to His Friend and Lord until the end. John serves as an example and encouragement that you can follow Jesus faithfully as a friend.
What do you think the hardest part was for Mary to watch Jesus die on the cross?