"Behold Your Mother!"

Have you ever had to take care of something for someone? Maybe you are having your car serviced and the person next to you asks you to watch his briefcase and computer. The man gets up to take calls and look around. In the meantime, you are sitting there really unable to move because you have a responsibility to watch his stuff.

In the meantime, your car is ready and you can’t find the man. You don’t want anyone to take the man’s stuff, but you have to go. So you ask the person two seats away from you to watch the man’s stuff while you go find him. You find him. He says thanks, but doesn’t return to his possessions. You have fulfilled your responsibility, but you are irritated that he didn’t take the same care with his stuff as you did.

How do you feel when you are responsible for someone or something? Do you take your job seriously or do you halfway forget you were given the responsibility? John, the beloved disciple, was given the biggest responsibility of his life. The Son of God gave John the task of taking care of His mother after His death on the cross.   

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. (John 19:26-27, ESV)

Can you imagine the overwhelming grief Mary must have been going through as she watched her son suffering a horrific death on a cruel cross? Mary witnessed the soldiers and others mock Jesus by calling Him “King of the Jews.” She saw the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothing. Mary saw the pain and anguish her son was enduring. Mary must have been overcome with sadness and her heart was probably breaking at witnessing the suffering of her son.

Jesus was the only one who knew what Mary was feeling. Jesus was Mary’s son and the Son of God. Jesus knew how to sympathize with Mary. Jesus called His mother, “Dear woman” in the NIV version. Jesus addressed His mother in an affectionate and respectful way.  Even as Jesus hung dying an excruciatingly painful death, He compassionately made provision for His mother.

Jesus, even at the point of His impending death, used legal terms to show the adoption of His mother into the care of John. Jesus wanted to make sure as the oldest son that His mother was legally provided for by John.  Joseph must have passed away at this point, so Jesus was making sure His mother had someone to take care of her. John was given the responsibility by Jesus to take care of His mother.  

Tradition says that John cared for Mary until her death then he moved to Asia Minor and ministered in Ephesus. John loved Jesus so much that he wanted to take care of Jesus’ mother with the same love he had shown to Jesus.

Do you love Jesus with the same type of love? Do you strive to please Him with every job and responsibility you are given?

Have a great day and keep moving forward!

Suggested Bible Reading


John 19:18-27


Prayer Guide


Today as you pray …


Praise Jesus for enduring the mocking of the crowd.


Thank the Lord for fulfilling scripture by watching the soldiers cast lots for His garment.


Praise Jesus for loving you so much to suffer and die for you on the cross.


Thank the Lord for His loving compassion for John, Mary, and you.


Praise the Son of God for providing for your needs just like He took care of His mother.


Ask the Lord to help you realize how much He loves you.


Ask Jesus to help you realize with fresh eyes the importance of His death on the cross.


Ask the Lord to give you His love for others and yourself.


Praise the Lord for His wonderful cross.


During Holy Week, leading to Resurrection Sunday, “Moving Forward” devotionals will focus on the seven sayings of Jesus from the cross.