“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
I would like to share with you something that struck me this past Easter Season. One of those things was the way Jesus cared His mother.
SEVEN SAYINGS OF JESUS
Perhaps you also have read or heard of the seven sayings that Jesus uttered while He was dying on the cross. In case you haven’t heard them before, I will mention them here:
- “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:24
- “Truly I say to you, ‘Today you shall be with me in paradise.'” Luke 23:43
- “Woman behold your son. Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” John 19:26-27
- “I thirst.”John 19:28-29
- “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Matt. 27:46
- “It is finished!” John 19:30
- “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46
Any of these sayings would be worth studying about in and of themselves and when they are studied altogether, they give an awesome picture of our Lord and His sufferings while He was on the cross. The one I would like to focus on briefly however, was third one that refers to how Jesus cared for His mother while He was on the cross.
JESUS’ VIEW OF WOMEN
Before we talk about that , I would like to point out a couple ways He had already showed care and respect for her. If you look at the verse:
“When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Jn 19:26
Many may ask, “Why did He call her ‘Woman’ instead of mother or mom, or some such title? If anyone addresses their mom as ‘woman’ today instead of mother or mom, it would sound very disrespectful. Even in John 2:9 He called her ‘Woman’ when they ran out of wine at a wedding and Mary went to Jesus for help. It seemed slightly disrespectful then, even followed by a mild rebuke reminding her that it really wasn’t the time for Him to show Himself and His powers. Yes, it would seem so, but that is today in Western 21st century culture, whereas the Bible needs to be interpreted from its Eastern historical and cultural context of that first century.
My Bible dictionary tells me that when the word ‘woman’ is used in direct address, it was not a term of disrespect but of honor. Also when you compare with other Scripture, you will find that Jesus also used the word ‘Woman’ in other situations. Not only in John 2:4, with His mother at a wedding, but in John 4:21 with the Samaritan woman, Jn. 8:10-12 with the woman caught in adultery, Jn. 20:13,15 with Mary Magdalene, Luke 13:12 when He healed a woman of illness, and Matt.15:28 where He spoke with the Syrophoenician woman. One source I read say this a ‘quirk of translating from one language to another’. The term ‘woman’ could also be thought of as”madam”. It didn’t matter if He was addressing His mother, the Samaritan woman, Mary Magdalene, or the Syrophoenician woman. He addressed them all the same and it was always considerate.
At times He addressed the women as daughters showing His love, compassion and value of them. (Luke 8:48, 13:16; Matthew 9:22) This causes me to conclude that Jesus treated women respectfully in how He spoke to them. Not only that, but the fact that He even spoke to them at all in public was out of the ordinary. It was not common to be seen in public speaking to women at all. Yet Jesus did, and He was polite when He did it.
JESUS’ CARE OF HIS MOTHER
At the cross Jesus hung, after being put on trial, beaten, mocked, stripped, flogged, and now nailed to the ‘tree’. He was definitely exhausted, weak from blood loss and shock, rejected by the people and abandoned by most of His disciples. Mentally He was suffering, as well as physically, and emotionally. Lastly, He was even momentarily forsaken by the Father. He was at that time in the most intense pain of His life. Yet, even then He took time to take care of His mother.
As the oldest son in that culture, He technically was responsible for her care since her husband was dead. He looked at His disciple, John, and His mother; then asked John to care for ‘His mother” and “His mother” to go with John from that moment on. (NOTE– According to Matt.20:20-21 [this mother of James and John], Matt. 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41, and John 19:25; the same woman seems to be Mary’s sister-Salome-who was James’ and John’s mother, and thus likely a cousin of Jesus). http://www.forerunner.com/blog/jesus-cousins-were-the-apostles-james-and-john
It always touched me that even amidst His pain and suffering, Jesus did not neglect the care and responsibility for His mother’s needs since He would no longer be there for her. He did not hesitate to (1) speak to women in public, (2) alway addressed them respectfully, and (3) He cared for the needs of His mother even at the lowest point of His life. Jesus is even the prime role model for this. I am beyond astounded at His love, care and mercy in treating His mother the way He did. Even while suffering, He kept giving, loving, caring. What an amazing God!
“As a Daughter of the King, your purpose is not to turn heads, your purpose is to turn Hearts toward the King.” @GodFruits.com