John 19:25-27 (ESV)
25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
This is the second time Jesus is referring to his mother as “Woman.” The first time was at the beginning of his ministry at the wedding of Cana. And now at the end of his earthly life he refers to her as “Woman.” At the start of his ministry she spoke and expected him to obey. Now at the end of his earthly life she sits quietly by his cross.
Mary is a model mother, who steers her children to go out and do something but continues to stand by her children when the going gets tough. Parents have the privilege of steering their children to accomplish something beautiful. However, there are also times when parents are brought to their knees to silently cry for their children.
While Mary was crying, Jesus was making all things new. This offers hope to parents that Jesus is going to make all things new. The tears for our children will not be in vain. He will, indeed, make all things new.
The relationship children share with their mothers is most special. Mothers usually care for their children in ways most fathers struggle to. Here, we find at the foot of the cross when most people have abandoned Jesus, his mother, his aunty, 2 Marys and John.
It is difficult to be the mother of a misunderstood child. I have seen mothers argue on behalf of their children who they think deserve more. Mary here, is portrayed quiet at the foot of the cross where her bleeding son hangs. What the silence implied is difficult for us to comprehend.
Maybe, Jesus heard her heart's cry and the loneliness she might be feeling and said, “Woman, here is your son,” and then looking at John he said, “This is your mother.” We have an opportunity this season to reach out to our parents and offer them our company as they wade through the struggles of old age.
Like John, we can also reach out to the elderly in our community; welcome them into our homes. Or visit them, listen to them, or simply just give them company.
Dear Lord, hear our heart's cry and help us to hear the silent cries of the elderly wherever they might be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
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