“Woman, here is your son”… “Here is your mother”
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. -John 19:25-27
The first three statements that Jesus makes from the cross all focus on others, revealing Jesus’ deep concern and love for those other than himself. In today’s words, we see Jesus telling his mother and his best friend, the beloved disciple John, to take of one another. This action of his words (and probably with his eyes) showed the changing of relationships. No longer is she to regard Jesus as son, but as Savior.
We are told in the gospels that Jesus had siblings, yet Jesus entrusted his mother to his dear friend (as church member said on Sunday, “Wouldn’t you entrust your mom’s well-being to a good friend rather than your siblings?” Not sure, Jesus was exactly thinking that, but point taken!) Jesus is again changing relationships and broaden family relationships as they were known. No longer are families, families just because they have the same DNA, families can be families because they share the same belief or faith.
Relationships were lost that day beneath the cross. A mother lost her son and John lost his friend, but a new friendship, new fellowship, new family was also gained in that place. This is a reciprocal arrangement of mutual love and support—not a one-sided love. What if Jesus was speaking to these words to us—who would Jesus be putting you in mutual relationship with? What if it isn’t enough to be put into mutual relationship with those you know or care about, what if Christ is calling you reach beyond your comfort one and into places of real dysfunction and hurt. Can you almost hear Jesus’ words calling you by name?
“Woman, here is your son.”
“Here is your mother”
Second Presbyterian Church—-here is Baltimore city
Baltimore City—here are people who will help take care of you.
Christ came to establish new relationships in and through you!