The Road to the Cross 12

“Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”

In a six-hour period, Jesus uttered seven statements. Most were spoken in less words than we have recorded in our English translations. That was by necessity, since the process of crucifixion was actually an act of slow suffocation. Words came at a premium. Only what was most essential would be spoken, and then only with great difficulty.

As Jesus began to take in the horrific scene around Him… the cursing of the crowd and the thieves… the brutality and indifference of the soldiers… He saw His mother, Mary. Standing with her sisters, and Jesus’ disciple and best friend John was the person He loved most on earth.

Simeon, the old blind prophet, had spoken a cryptic word to Mary and Joseph on the day of Jesus’ dedication at the temple. Barely eight days old, He held the virgin born son of God in His arms, looked at the young mother, and said, “A sword will pierce your heart.”

She was standing that day, thirty-three years later, feeling the cutting of that sword. It was indeed piercing her heart, as she witnessed the nails penetrating the hands and feet of her precious and divine son.

It was in that moment that Jesus spoke six words in Aramaic: “Woman… your son. Son… your mother.” And with that, John knew that his mission in life had taken on a new assignment… to care for and keep safe this woman who had raised, cared for, and birthed the Messiah.

Jesus in His moment of greatest agony felt profound love and concern for His earthly mother. He modeled the care that we should have for our aged parents. And from that moment, John took Mary into his home.

Ultimately, historians tell us Mary died in John’s home, overlooking the valley above the city of Ephesus. Jesus cares for us in our darkest places. He sees that we are not abandoned in our hour of deepest need.

Even when He was on the cross.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.


John the Apostle’s home where Mary, the mother of Jesus died.


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