The Seven Words from the Savior on the Cross: Love 5

Jesus’ spoken words from the cross emphasize the truths of forgiveness ("Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."  Luke 23:34), hope ("Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43) and thirdly, love.

"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26-27.

The statement occurs within the overall context of John 19:16-27.

We witness Jesus’ provision of love for Mary, His mother. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” (John 19:26 ESV).

Jesus sees his mother in the midst of His suffering. In spite of the excruciating pain, he directs his attention to this women who was the vehicle God used, along with Holy Spirit, to bring Jesus into the world for this very purpose.

John wants the reader to understand that of all the Mary’s mentioned in the gospels (Mary – His mother; His mother’s (Mary) sister – Salome. See Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56-57; Mary: the wife of Clopas: the mother of James the younger or less. Matthew 27:56; and Mary Magdalene) it is Jesus’ mother to whom He addresses.

Jesus also recognizes John, who the gospel writer refers to as the disciple whom Jesus loved. John had fled from Jesus, as had the other disciples, but is now present at the crucifixion. See Mark 14:50.

It is a setting of sorrow for those who love the Lord. It is also a scene of indescribable pain and anguish for Jesus: not only physically but also spiritually and relationally with God the Father.

In contrast to the cruelty and indifference of the soldiers and others, a group of four women, and one male disciple, are present with love and grief. The anguish of Jesus’ mother fulfilled the prophecy of Simeon years before: “A sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:35).

Jesus speaks to his mother and says, “Woman, behold, your son!” There is no sense of disrespect in Jesus’ use of the word woman” (Γυναι [Gunai]) as there was not in John 2:4. The word indicates that while Jesus cared for and respected Mary, she did not possess authority over Jesus. He was/is her Savior and Lord.

He commands Mary to pay attention and to take notice of her son. This is not a reference to Jesus, but rather to John who is standing near to Mary.

Seeing her sorrow Jesus honored His mother by consigning her into the care of John, the beloved disciple. His brothers and sisters being in Galilee perhaps were not in a position to take care of or comfort her.