Devotions for Holy Week
From First Assembly of God, Brookfield, CT
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The 3rd Saying of Jesus on the Cross
“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27)
These statements are unique in that they are the last instructions that Jesus makes before He dies. These statements to His’ mother and disciple are specific instructions that were taken seriously. John records that this disciple took Mary home and cared for her from that day on.
Why the need for a disciple to care for Mary? Where is Joseph? Where are Jesus’ brothers? Where is the extended family?
It is assumed that Joseph had died between Jesus’ trip to the Temple when He was twelve and the start of His public ministry. Care of Mary would have passed on to a close family member. If Joseph had any unmarried brothers it would have been their duty to marry their brother’s widow. If this was not possible, care for Mary would have fallen to Jesus.
Once he began his ministry He would have made other arrangements for Mary’s care. She might have been one of the many people that followed Jesus that was not part of the twelve disciples or one of Jesus brothers would have cared for her. But where are these brothers when Jesus is crucified?
Jesus family was, by Biblical records, very pious. Nazareth itself was a very pious town. Jesus’ family would have been in Jerusalem during Passover. So why are they not present at His crucifixion? Perhaps it was because they had already rejected Him. When Jesus visited Nazareth during His ministry the people there tried to kill Him. These people would have been cousins, aunts, and uncles. Why did His brothers not speak in his defense at this time? We see that after John the Baptist was arrested Jesus’ brothers and mother try to bring Him home. It seems His brothers did not believe.
However, even if Mary herself did struggle between belief and disbelief, at the end she believed. This belief in Jesus may have caused her other children and family to disown her. Jesus entrusts care of His mother to a disciple not because His brothers did not believe but because they quite possibly disowned her!
The focus that I want to center on is the fact that even Jesus Himself could not get certain members of His family to believe in Him. The point of this devotional is encouragement. We can derive from this story that Jesus’ brothers were not yet believers at the time of His death. Do not lose hope for those in your family that are not yet saved! It took Jesus His whole life to get some of His family members saved.
It seems that they did not even come to believe until after He had resurrected. Acts 1:14 records that Jesus’ brothers were present in the upper room with the disciples when the Holy Spirit fell. It had taken Jesus’ whole life and His death but His brothers were finally saved.
The church got at least two powerful leaders that gave us the epistles of James and Jude. Do not lose hope for the salvation of your lost loved ones!
Pastor Sean Cooper