“Woman, Behold Thy Son!”
7 Last Sayings on the CROSS series
Text: John 19:25-27
Aim: To show Lord Jesus’ care for
His mother and to understand her position in Scripture. Reveal different ways
some came to the cross and that how close we stand to the cross reveals our
identity and devotion to Him.
Once again we journey to a hill far away on
the outskirts of Jerusalem, where there stands an old rugged cross.
CROSS – that is the emblem of suffering and
CROSS – where the burden of my heart rolled
CROSS – where there is no other way to redeem
man than this.
CROSS – where there flows a precious fountain
for the soul unclean.
CROSS – where all my sins were washed away;
and sin’s dark night was turned into day.
Upon that cross of Jesus, mine eyes at
times can see, the very dying form, of the one who suffered there, for me.
With my heart full of gratitude and with
tears overflowing, two wonders
1] The wonders of His glorious love for me;
2] And how someone so unworthy as I am
given so precious a gift as salvation.
No wonder the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:14 – “But God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto
me, and I unto the world.”
This is the third time our Saviour has spoken since He was nailed to
Time – He asks for forgiveness of all
mankind, “Father forgive them they
know not what they do.”
Time – He spoke was to save the soul of one
of the thieves, who hung at His side, “Today,
shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
the 3rd Time – Here He was
committing the care of His mother to John and John’s care to His mother.
Calvary stands in the centre of ALL the
purposes of God. The Christ of the cross and the cross of Christ represent the
greatest meeting place in the world. Here at its foot of the cross stands a
group of people.
consider these folks and the intimate, heart-touching discussion of three them.
there stood at the croSs of Jesus…” – vs. 25.
FIRST, Front and centre is JESUS – He is the Focal point
Let us remember to always put Him first in
everything. Col 1:18 – “And
he is the head… the beginning, the firstborn… in all things he
might have the preeminence.” (Be it, people, needs, programs,
traditions, or hobbies.)
out His life He took time, for what the world might consider little things. He
did so, even on the cross.
He suffering was so great, it did not quench His love.
intensity and aggravation of Christ’s suffering at that moment surpassed
all conception. With every nerve of His frame in torture, with a load of sorrow
on His heart, He did not forget His mother.
she lifted up her loving face, and her tears met His eyes, they seemed to
pierce His heart. For a moment, He forgot His pain and suffering in the tears
of His mother.
c. Children need to learn a lesson from this! You
can’t plead some personal inconvenience as a reason for neglecting your
most important work ever done by any man was taking place that day, yet BEFORE
His time ran out, Jesus took time for His family.
showed us that no engagements, no career, how ever important, can justify the
neglect of domestic duties.
He hung on the cross, eternal destinies of all mankind hung in the balance.
1) He was fighting the moral battles of the universe.
Earth, heaven and hell were interested in His position.
2) It was “the
hour.” A crisis in the history of moral creation was taking place.
Notwithstanding this, He was alive to domestic duties. He attended to the needs
of His aged mother.
can we, whether statesman, scientist, politician, preacher or reformer plead
that the calling of our vocation or vastness of our engagements justify the
neglect of our home duties?
stripped of everything; Jesus seemed to have nothing more to give to anyone.
Nonetheless, from the midst of deep poverty, He had already made precious
His executioners He had bequeathed the pardon of God—”Father forgive them…”
the thief who was His companion in punishment, He gave the promise of Paradise.
He find nothing to His mother and friend?
His two beloved friends, His most precious treasures on earth, He bequeathed
one to another.
Lord Jesus had concern as to who would care for His mother, but why John?
husband, Joseph, evidently had already passed away, Mary was a widow and now
Jesus was to leave her. Jesus directs her to John who was to care for her as a
what of Jesus’ brothers and sisters? Why weren’t they chosen to
take care of Mary?
half-brothers were not saved as far as we know—up to this time (Jn. 7:5)
seems James, Joses, Simon and Judas (Matt. 13:55) were to be converted before
the upper-room prayer meeting before Pentecost (Acts 1:14).
had sisters (Matt. 13:56; Mk. 6:3), but there is no record of them being saved.
all of them were younger than his 33 yrs., perhaps they had no go way of caring
for their mother.
showed His love as a son to a mother by seeing to it that she was looked after
when he was gone the best He could.
getting John and Mary to look after one another Jesus taught ALL OF US a LESSON ABOUT LOSSES.
are best made up or managed when we hear our precious Saviour pointing us by
those losses to new positions of help to OTHERS.
we will let Him, He will point us to what will fill the empty places in our
hearts and homes.
knew the secret to JOY in life through out His life – He took time for
most of us would have been thinking about our own predicament and problems,
Jesus had the welfare of others on His heart.
always put others first. Who is the FOCUS of your life? Real JOY comes when you
put JESUS first in your life; OTHERS second and YOURSELF last.
had enough confidence in THE BELOVED John to place the care of His mother in
his hands – Vs. 26-27.
It is clear from Jn. 13:23 that the disciple whom Jesus loved was John.
was more privileged that all the other disciples, for into his faithful care
the Lord Jesus entrusted His greatest earthly treasure.
was given the great honour to take His Lord’s place in the life of the
privilege carried heavy responsibilities. Not every disciple would be
sufficiently trustworthy for this great task.
Lord knew John would not fail Him—His mother, the dearest and best of the
earthly friends, would be safe in the care of His beloved apostle.
important it is for us to prove ourselves “trustworthy” and to have
a “testimony” of being faithful.
much trust does the Saviour have in you, especially to be faithful?
had nothing else to give as a parting gift, but He gave these two to each other
and in so doing, enriched them both. In so doing, Christ broke all earthly ties
was no specific directions given to John pertaining to his care of
Mary—it was enough for the Lord to call his attention to her by saying, “Behold thy mother.”
wonderful it would be if we were in such a state of heart that we did not need
specific instructions—just a hint or a look would be enough!
shouldn’t have to driven of goaded to do our holy duty as some ox to the
field of labour.
within us should spring a love that delights to anything that would bring joy
to the heart of the one we love. Whether it is our friend, mother or our
Mention of The Women
list of the women – Vs. 25.
alone has preserved this incident for us naming these women.
Mark & Luke speak of a number of Galilean women who were present at the
cross, but “stood afar off
beholding these things” (Matt. 27:55; Mk. 15:40; Lk. 23:49).
reason that no other evangelists make note of this incident is perhaps because
John was the only one present on the occasion.
verse may be read so as to mention 4 or 3 women, according as to whether “His mother’s sister, Mary the
wife of Cleophas” is taken to mean one or two
3. Four women would escape the difficulty
of having two sisters with the same name.
question can not be answered with certainty, but it seems four persons are mentioned in two pairs.
there are four, then the
unnamed women would to be Salome, the mother of John (Matt. 27:56; Mk. 15:40).
the mother of the apostle John, Salome, was the sister of Mary, and John was
the 1st cousin of Jesus, it would more easily explain how Jesus
could entrust His mother to him with Jesus’ brothers present.
gracious women stood by the cross! That took courage.
could they have placed themselves in a more perilous position.
stand by the ONE Whom the world abhorred, and against Whom it was launching its
fiercest displeasure, displayed a grand conviction of soul.
are the feebler sex, BUT we must grant that they are by far the stronger in
anything, which has to do with self-less love.
is the soul of courage.
1) It is love what puts steel in one’s nerves
and makes one heroic in trials.
2) A man might be built like a Hercules, but if he
doesn’t have love in him he will be a moral coward.
3) When the Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians as
to the motivation to reach the lost he said, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge,
that if one died for all, then were all dead.” (2 Cor. 5:14).
Consider the Three Marys at the cross – Vs. 25
If I were a woman vs. 25 would be one of my
favourite texts. When most of the disciples had forsaken Christ, three women
lingered in His presence. They were all named Mary.
>> 1 Corinthians 13:13 << If we would
link verse 25 in Jn. 19 with this verse, which has triple attributes of faith,
hope, and love, then we might be able to present each of the three women named
“Mary” with a surname. A little investigation reveals that they
travelled to the cross along different pathways.
FAITH – Jesus’ mother
story of Joseph’s wife is among the loveliest stories in the world. Faced
with the physical impossibility of Christ’s conception, she believed and
said, “Be it unto me according to
thy word” (Lk. 1:38), and in joyful anticipation sang, “My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Lk.
the birth of the Lord Jesus, and with the collected testimony of the shepherds,
the wise men, the prophet Simeon, and the prophetess Anna, increased the
wonderment of her heart.
she heard the boy Jesus name God as His Father; and by the time He was 30 she
had sufficiently grown in faith to be able confidently to expect His first
miracle (John 2:5). She had no doubt, for she had come to realise the extent of
her faith was soon to suffer. The Pharisees came asking about His age and
accusing Him of blasphemy. Mary gathered together her other children, and went
seeking Him. It is said that His kinsmen thought He was beside Himself, and
would have taken Him home (Mark 3:21, 31).
came the cross, and any remaining thought of His divinity disappeared. Mary
went away, and as far as we know never returned until the news of the
resurrection electrified everybody.
HOPE – the wife of Cleophas
entire background of this woman’s experience is different. She was the
wife of a disciple who is also mentioned in the account of the walk to Emmaus.
in common with many other people, she had rallied to His cause firmly believing
Him to be the promised Messiah. Each miracle added fuel to the fires of her
hopes; but as with “MARY LOVE,” the tragedy of the cross devastated
is more than likely that she was the unknown companion accompanying Cleophas
back to the home in Emmaus, and their testimony to the Stranger is most
illuminating. They said, “We
trusted it had been He which should have redeemed Israel” (Lk.
24:21). Such hopes would have perished but for the resurrection.
LOVE – Magdalene
Magdalene is to have a surname, it must be Love. She had known the misery of
being possessed by devils, and then Jesus had brought heaven to her soul.
memory of His unsurpassed kindness and power thrilled her, as every day with
other women she followed ministering to Him.
also had faith, and fervently
hoped He would be the
Messiah; yet underneath lay something greater. She loved Him!
He failed? Had He been a blasphemer? People said so; but their opinions made no
1) She had loved Him in life; she loved Him in death,
and perhaps that is the reason why she was the only one of the three Marys to
come back on the morning of the resurrection.
2) Primarily she did not return to worship a risen Lord;
she came because she still loved the dead Jesus.
abideth faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is
There is a faith—a
mental assent that cannot survive a Calvary.
There is a hope—that
can be submerged by disappointment.
BUT love is unchanging; it
is eternal; it is like God.
Such love brought the
Saviour down to us; such love alone can take us up to Him.
Let me love Thee, Saviour,
Take my heart for ever:
Nothing but Thy favour
My soul can satisfy.
was a good woman who from her youth kept herself pure & dedicated to God.
She stood for the purest and best of womanhood.
Bible says nothing about her being immaculately conceived, nor is she the
“mother of God,” but she did give birth to the Son of God.
of Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore
the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and
bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
2) Luke 1:28
– “And the angel came in
unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.”
she was not: Lot of misconception.
a. Not sinless. She was not preserved free
from the taint of original sin. Therefor she was not immaculately conceived.
1) Only been one sinless person to have ever walked
this earth and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. He “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21) As the believer’s
high priest, He “was in all points
tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).
2) Bible declares concerning all others, including
Mary, “For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
3) Pope Pious IX invented the doctrine known as the
Immaculate Conception out of thin air in the year 1854.
b. She has no power or ability to intercede
for the benefit of others. 1 Tim. 2:5 – “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus.”
1) Jesus taught much about praying, but neither He
nor any other Bible writer ever hinted that we should pray to her.
2) To pray to anyone else, but God is to break the 1st
3) To credit her with the ability to hear prayers
from millions at any given time to make her a god.
c. She was not forever a virgin. Some
teach Jesus was her only child, but the Bible says in Mk. 6:3 – “Is not this the carpenter, the son of
Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his
sisters here with us?”
calling His mother “Woman,” the Lord Jesus did not show any lack of
was not her Son’s equal. He was God in the flesh; she was but a woman of
1) Lk. 1:47
– Mary declared ”My
spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
2) Therefore, she is not a co-redemptorist; she has
no part in the salvation of man other than trusting in her Son as her God &
one in the NT ever gave her any special reverence, nor did anyone ever ask her
to pray for them.
This should be a lesson for us:
God could have
used anyone to bring Christ into the world. She was so blessed.
We should not
exalt Mary to a place where she is adored—this is idolatry. The Lord
Jesus as God is to have our devoted and explicit adoration.
4. Vs. 27 – “And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own
a. Vs. 35 – John witnessed the
soldier piercing Christ’s side.
more than likely took Mary away at once from the scene of agony and left her
somewhere near, in order that might return to see the end of the tragedy.
that time on, Mary lived with Salome & John – Tradition tells us she
first lived at Jerusalem and them in Galilee. She was to have died about the
year 48 at the age of 59.
Have you been
taking the time to personally minister to your loved ones and attend to their
Some here today
may have suffered through a loss — experienced hurt from death, injury or
situations, which have raised doubts, fears and questions. Are you allowing God
to make provision and are you allowing Him fill in those empty spaces in your
heart and home?
Have you found
the secret to JOY in living life?
Someone here may
have left and lost the joy of their salvation and you are struggling with how
to make things right again.
Others for one
reason or another are not standing very close to the cross today. You are
following Jesus, but afar off. No one can really identify you as the one who
loves the Lord and it is bothering your heart.
Whatever it is, make is it right with God
I am praying today you will catch a glimpse
of the cross and come back.
25 March, 2001