Date: April, 2011
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures…they are they which testify of Me. “John 5:39”.
Author: Bob Moses
The Seven Utterances of Jesus from the Cross
The Word of Affection. “Now there stood by the crow of Jesus His mother. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved. He saith unto His mother. Woman, behold thy Son! Then saieth He, to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!” (John 19: 25, 26))
There is a tremendous lesson in this utterance regarding the “honoring” of our mother and father. Not only is it supremely important, but unfortunately lost on most of our current generation. Honor and respect of our elders has become lost as this current generation is caught-up in self-serving, self-centeredness and an entitlement attitude. It is no longer how can I care for my mother or father, but rather, how can I get rid of them so as to lay claim upon my due inheritance. Having been in the death-care industry for over 40 years, I have seen many examples where Mom and Dad have made their arrangements, and upon death, the children change the wants and desires of their parents in order to cremate them so that the kids can get the money. This is despicable, but happens literally every day. Not by one or two, but by hundreds if not indeed thousands daily, as I discuss with my peers, this degrading phenomenon within our death-care industry today, in our country. When I was a child, grandparents lived with the family, and were taken care of by the family. Today there is no such sentiment. The ailing parent is a burden and must somehow be disposed of, so as not to be an inconvenience upon our life-style. The most easily acceptable practice is to let the government take care of them. Shame upon Shame. Exodus, 20:12; “Honor thy father and mother”. The fifth of the Ten Commandments! Your greed for money and self-serving attributes will fail you.
The above being set aside, there is something here of interest in our Lord’s appeal to His Mother as “Woman”. Nowhere in the Gospels do we see Him speak of her as “mother”. Upon reflection we can see throughout the centuries, His omniscient foresight as it relates through the Holy Canon of Scripture, the reason. He refused from using a word which would idolatrize the rendering to Mary the homage which is due alone to her Son, the idolatry of worshipping her as “The Mother of God, which are blatantly before us in some religious circles, all of which are contrary to the Word of God. It is He, the Lord Jesus Christ who is to be honored, glorified, and given the praise, for His sacrifice.
Twice in the Gospel records do we find our Lord addressing Mary as “Woman”, and it is most noteworthy that both of these are found in John’s Gospel which, as is well known, sets forth our Saviour’s Diety. The Gospels as a whole, set Him forth in human relationships; not so the forth Gospel. John’s Gospel represents Christ, as the Son of God, and as Son of God; He is above all human relationships, and hence the perfect consonance of presenting the Lord Jesus here addressing Mary as “Woman”. Thus He said; “Woman, behold thy Son!” The Word of God presents Mary, not the mother of Jesus nor as queen of angels decked with a diadem, but as one who herself needed a Saviour. While it is true, that she is “blessed among women”, however not “above” women. And that, by virtue of the high honor of being the mother of the Redeemer; yet she was human, a real member of our fallen race, and a sinner, needing a Saviour, just as you and I. Thus Christ said; “Woman behold, thy Son”. The emphasis on “Behold”, for she too, must “Behold” Him as the King of Kings, the Redeemer of mankind, and the Saviour of the World.
“Then saith He to the disciple (John, the Gospel writer, the one whom Jesus loved, the writer of the Revelation, the last book of the New Testament) Behold thy mother!” (John 19: 25 – 26). This is most significant. Christ, from the cross committing Mary into the hands of His disciple was an expression of His tender love and foresight. John was the only disciple who returned to the crusifixation, the only one to actually witness the suffering Saviour. The others had fled away. John, alone had to come to be by Mary’s side. Christ said unto him. “Behold thy mother”, what a blessed commission. It was as though He had said, Let her be to thee as thine own mother; Let thy love for Me be now manifested in thy tender care for her.
Of Old through Isaiah God had said, “Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently” (53:13). In commending His mother to the care of His loved apostle the Saviour displayed wise discrimination in His choice of the one who was henceforth to be her guardian. Perhaps, there was none who understood the Lord Jesus so well as His mother, and it is almost certain that none had apprehended His love so deeply as had John. It is obvious that they would be perfect companions for each other. Thus there was none other so well suited to take care of Mary, none whose company she would find so congenial, and on the other hand, there was none whose fellowship John would more enjoy. Thus we see Jesus melding relationships to their concerns and His glory.
Truly apprehending the Word of Affection: The Scriptures tell us in John 19: 25, 26; “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and disciple standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy Son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother!”