devotion 4-5-14, John 19:25 – 27

Good afternoon! I apologize for getting this out so late – I was at the church rummage sale before daylight this morning! We had a good sale – thanks to all of you who brought things, and to those of you who bought things or sent your neighbors over! The money will go to our Capitol Improvement Fund, and since we have a generous donor matching right now, will be doubled!

John 19:25-27

And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, 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.

Only in John’s gospel are any of the disciples near the cross, although there are hints in the others that the women are waiting nearby. But the author of John is very specific here, and perhaps that is one indication that it really is John, the beloved disciple, who writes, or at least dictates. He lists the women specifically: Jesus’ mother (John never calls her Mary); her sister; another Mary, identified as the wife of Clopas, a disciple, though not one of the twelve; and Mary Magdalene. They stand as witnesses to Jesus’ death. Yet, even as he is suffering and dying, Jesus is concerned for others. He sees his mother there, and he calls to the beloved disciple, and he said to her, “Woman, here is your son”, and to him, “Here is your mother.” Essentially he is telling Mary to look after the disciple whom Jesus loved, and is telling John (we assume that “the disciple whom Jesus loved” is John) to look after his mother. We know that Jesus had brothers – why did he not ask them to look after his mother? One of Jesus’ brothers was James, who would become a leader in the Jerusalem church, but we see little about any of his brothers being followers or disciples prior to Pentecost. Regardless of his reason, the care Jesus requested of his mother and the disciple whom Jesus loved, is apparently mutual – they are to care for one another. According to tradition, and to writers in the early days of the church, John went to Ephesus to lead the church there and took Mary with him. There are monuments and a place called “Mary’s home” to be seen today in Ephesus. Perhaps the community to whom John writes is in Ephesus, and his reason for including this might be to let them know why Mary lived there until her death. But all of this is simply speculation! The scripture simply shows Jesus’ concern for both.

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