We are now at Golgotha, the place of the skulls, the hill upon which Jesus was crucified. Consistent with His ministry and instructions, Jesus’ final words were words revealing the word of redemption, and of comfort and instruction and faith. Jesus final words have ranged from separation from His Father, to physical suffering, to the resolve of forgiveness of his enemies and care for his family and disciples.“Behold this woman. Woman, behold thy son.”
Reference: John 19:26-27
What it means: Mary, the mother of Jesus, stood near the cross with John, a friend and disciple of Jesus. “From that hour on, John, His friend and His disciple, took care of His mother,”
Why it matters: Culturally, Jesus fulfilled his obligation to care for His mother after His passing. These words were an extension of Jesus’ teaching on both the devotion to physical family – healing Peter’s mother in law, raising Lazarus from the dead – and yet recognizing the greater association of spiritual family – While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Matthew 12:46-49.
For both the family and followers of Jesus’, there was a cost to following Him – to discipleship. Jesus taught ‘let the dead bury their dead’ re burial of a father, prioritizing God first in our lives – 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:37-39. So even in the last hour of Jesus’ life, he both cared for and providing for the care of his mother, and recognized again the true nature of a spiritual family even above physical family.
Good week to reassess your priorities: first God, then your immediate family, and finally, your commitment to the people of God who have a like kind commitment to the purposes of God and message of Jesus.