Independence Baptist Church
P. O. Box 70 124 South Main Foristell, Missouri 63348 636-673-2180 June, 2001
The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross
The Third Saying Ė The Word of Affection
By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor
John 19:25-27 states, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."
All had forsaken Jesus when the soldiers came and arrested Him, but the Holy Spirit had dealt with four people that stood near the foot of the cross. These four people were Mary, the mother of Christ, Mary, the wife of Cleophas, Mary Magdalene, and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.
Before we study in detail the verses before us, let us first notice some very important points about Mary.
1. According to prophecy, it was necessary for the mother of Jesus to be present at his crucifixion. Luke 2:34, 35 states, "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Simeon told Mary that her son, Jesus, would bless many people. But Simeon also told her that she would receive hurt because of Him. Simeon was speaking about the "mother" part of Mary. No mother would want to see her son put to death, or harmed in any way. But it pleased God for Mary to see Jesus hurt. Simeon described the turmoil Mary was in as someone drawing a sharp sword through her soul. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,). Mary knew that these things must come to pass.
2. In her youth, Mary was just like any other lost person, she needed a saviour. Many people think that Mary was elevated in position above other women, but she wasnít. Luke 1:28 declares, "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." The angel Gabriel told Mary that she was blessed among women, not above women. The blood of Jesus Christ saved Mary; just like every other lost person is saved.
3. There are those today who mistakenly believe Mary was not like other people, that she didnít need a Saviour, that she didnít have sins, or original sin. This doctrine is not new, because there were people in the days of Christ who believed the same doctrine. That doctrine is wrong, and Jesus declares that it is in error. Luke 11:27,28 states, "And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." This passage speaks of a certain woman who believed that Mary was blessed above all other women because she had borne the Christ child. But listen to what Jesus says in verse 28, "But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." Could Jesus make it any clearer that the person who hears and keeps the Word of God is more blessed than Mary? You see, it is not the giving birth that makes a person blessed in the eyes of God. Now listen, it is hearing and keeping the Word of God that makes them blessed in the eyes of God. This is possible for you and for me. Wow!!
4. Also notice what Matthew 12:46-50 reveals. "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Now I would ask you, who did Christ say were his mother and his brethren (brothers)? Verse 50 plainly declares, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." What a special truth this is. I did not live in the time when Christ walked upon this earth. It didnít happen that I was born into the same physical family Christ was born into. But that doesnít mean I am ineligible to be in the family of Christ. Christ himself declared in verse 50, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Wow!! Isnít that a blessing? A blessing indeed!
5. Please understand that Christ isnít putting his mother and his brothers down. He isnít doing that, but He is exalting true followers of God. This is what God wants us to do.
6. Notice also that Jesus called Mary "woman." Never in the four gospels did Jesus call Mary "mother." Does this fact mean that Jesus didnít like his mother, or didnít respect her or the position she was in? No. It meant that Jesus knew there would come a religion that would exalt Mary above the place God put her in, and would lower Jesus from the place God put him in. So Jesus never called his mother "mother," but always called her "woman."
Now let us look in detail at the verses before us.
Notice also that Mary is standing by the cross. She is not swooning, or fainting, or throwing some type of hysterical fit. I have seen pictures of Mary in a swoon as she hovers, almost fainting by the cross, being supported by those that stand by. But the Bible declares that Mary stands, and stands firm. Nowhere else in the Bible do we find anything equal. The grace of God sustained her in the time of her grief. As the sword, described in Luke 2:35, is piercing her soul, she stands, nobly stands, sustained by the grace of God.
Many people believe that Jesus was begging pity from his mother, when he said, "Woman, behold thy son!" But Jesus was not doing that. In fact, Jesus was directing Maryís attention away from himself! Notice what verse 26 of our text states, "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!" Verse 29 continues, "Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." Jesus was telling Mary that the beloved disciple, John, was now her son. Many people may rebel at this thought, but if it is not true, why did Jesus say to John, "Behold thy mother!" Jesus was putting Mary under the supervision of John, and instructed him to receive Mary as his own mother. We can also note the perfection of Christ as he made sure his mother would be taken care of. Jesus never made a mistake, and always fulfilled all parts of all laws that werenít against his Fatherís laws. In Eph. 6:1,2, we find that children are instructed to obey their parents in the Lord and to honor them. Christ always honored his parents, Mary, his mother, and Joseph, his stepfather. Honoring parents doesnít stop when a person is married and moved from his fatherís house. But it continues until his parents die.
Remember, no matter how hard we may work, or how engrossed we may become in life, whether it be religion, or not, we should never become so engrossed in life that we neglect to take care of our family, and give the proper honor and respect to our parents. In I Tim. 5:8, we find that one who fails to take proper care of his family has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Even though Jesus was upon the cross, his body racked with pain, his person in the deepest shame, his life being given for the salvation of sinners; even though Jesus was taking care of the most important matter in the universe, still he, in his perfection, took the time, thought, and wonderful grace to take care of his widowed mother.
This should be a great lesson to each of us. Regardless of how busy we get, or where we are, or what our lifeís work is, we should always honor our parents. This will be one thing we will be judged for. What will your answer be? Too busy? Didnít think? On the cross, Jesus did more than anyone has or will ever be able to do, and he remembered to honor his mother (parents). Remember the commandment with promise, Eph. 6:1-3.
This cartoon is humorous, but it does show how far from Biblical understanding most of the world has come. I know you often hear the phrase "mother earth," but this is not a Biblical term. Eve is the mother of all living; the earth is not the mother of all living. A close examination of Genesis 2:23 reveals that Adam named his wife "woman," because she was taken out of man. Adam renamed his wife Eve in Genesis 3:20, proclaiming that she is the mother of all living, a reference to the Savior coming from the womb of the woman.
Evolutionists today teach that human beings came from the earth, from primeval slime, or a "big bang" or other such thing. Evolutionists are slowly and surely spreading their gospel of humanism, self-sufficiency, and God hatred by using such phrases as "mother earth."
Satan is very strong and very intelligent. He knows how to fool us into believing his lies and following him. Be very careful. Check him and his lies out with the Bible, and you will discover his end is destruction, misery and doom.