Behold Thy Son
(John 19:26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
(John 19:27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Today's text sets forth one of the most touching scenes in all of history. Good mothers long to see their sons lifted up over others, but not like this! Mary's unique son was born to controversy, “...set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against” (LUK 2:34). This “lifting up” fulfilled the sign of His own death of which He spoke:
(JOH 3:14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
(JOH 12:32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
(JOH 12:33) This he said, signifying what death he should die.
That crucifixion sign was “spoken against” then and it has been “spoken against” ever since. The offence of His cross endures, “spoken against” by the perishing as foolishness (1CO 1:18) but received as the power of God by “...them which are called, both Jews and Greeks,...” (1CO 1:24). At the moment described in our text today, to Mary it was speaking of a prophecy from many years earlier, “(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,)...” (LUK 2:35). Perhaps it is not mere coincidence that the very figure of a cross resembles a sword.
But note in our text Jesus' last faithful order before His death. In this darkest of hours, He would not neglect to honour His mother by making provision for her in her dotage and in His absence. The Jews had a tradition of Corban (MAR 7:9-13) by which they used religion to exempt themselves from responsibility to their aging parents. But not even the most noble act of religion ever performed prevented Jesus from such duty. He was not one of those of whom Solomon wrote: “Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer” (PRO 28:24). No, He would honour His mother (EXO 20:12), provide for His own (1TIM 5:8), fully “...obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (PHIL 2:8), and by death destroy the destroyer (HEB 2:14) and redeem the heaven-called band (HEB 9:15; HEB 3:1).
Jesus sometimes taught His disciples of God's great interest in them and care for them by reasoning from the lesser to the greater, as in LUK 11:11-13; LUK 12:6-7; LUK 18:1-8. Consider therefore the good care of God for yourselves by reasoning this way from today's text. In this moment Jesus was at His weakest (He was crucified through weakness, 2CO 13:4), yet even in this state of humiliated debility He was able to provide for His mother's needs. Can He not even more provide for our needs now that He is in power and glory? It may be observed that they who hear His words and do them have at least as much claim on Him as Mary:
(MAT 12:47) Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
(MAT 12:48) But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
(MAT 12:49) And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
(MAT 12:50) For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
As obedient disciples, believers are not only in a great position to receive blessing from Him, He is now in a better position to give it! Paul says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (PHIL 4:19). He is so full of glorious riches that none who call on Him need fear of being deprived; He is “...rich unto all that call upon him” (ROM 10:12).
Consider spiritual needs. Are you impatient? He can send a trial of faith to work patience in you (JAM 1:3). Do you need wisdom to process a trial of faith? Then ask Him in faith, nothing wavering (JAM 1:2-8), for in Him “...are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (COL 2:3) and He wrote you a perfect law of liberty to look into to discover those treasures (JAM 1:25). Do you need grace? Well, “...of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace” (JOH 1:16), so go boldly by faith to His throne and ask for it (ROM 5:2 c/w HEB 4:16). Do you need mercy in a time of error or conviction? The same throne is available (HEB 4:16), as is His advocacy to plead your case to the Father and take away wrath (1JO 2:1-2). Are you spiritually weak? He desires to dwell in your heart by faith (EPH 3:17) because through faith men out of weakness are made strong (HEB 11:33-34).
Consider fleshly needs. Do you need daily bread? He Who is the bread of life (JOH 6:35) knows how to multiply loaves (JOH 6:11-13), and can minister “...bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown...” (2CO 9:10), so pray accordingly (MAT 6:11) and work wisely and diligently (ECC 10:10; 1TH 4:11-12). How about clothes? Did He not say of the Father, “...shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith” (MAT 6:30)? Do you need good friends and loving family (particularly if friends and family have disowned you for following Christ)? He “...of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (EPH 3:15) promised “...Verily I say unto you, There is no man that left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (LUK 18:29-30). Has someone you loved and trusted forsaken you? He says, “...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (HEB 13:5). Are you brokenhearted over personal loss, weakness or sin? He was sent “...to heal the brokenhearted...” (LUK 4:18), not just to soothe them but to heal them. Do you wonder if you will ever find true love? Wonder no more: true Love found you, proved His love for you at Calvary (1JO 4:9-10), continues to love you, and will do so forever. He wrote you a long love letter to tell you about it (sixty-six books long!).
Be they spiritual, material or emotional needs, there is no genuine need that a believer has for which there is not a genuine provision promised.
Rejoice, believer: God truly loves you! And He “...is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (EPH 3:20). How well does Jesus continue to provide for His own!