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15 April 2014

Jesus on the cross: Reflection 3

Jesus on the cross: Reflection 3

"Jesus said to His mother: "Woman, this is your son." Then He said to the disciple: "This is your mother." John 19:26-27

by Natasha Ruddock

This scripture could initially convey the idea of disrespect, Jesus calling his mother ‘woman’ but maybe he was trying to spare the feelings of a woman probably at the worst moment of her life…watching her son die in such a horrendous way.

Jesus had just endured the most harrowing experience of his life.  He’d been shunned by his people, beaten beyond description, ridiculed, forced to carry the cross to his death, nailed to it and was near to death.  But despite all this, in Jesus’ dying moments he was filled with tender care for his mother.  

As he was not mentioned at this point, Joseph may already be dead leaving Jesus to provide for his mother.  Therefore, Jesus’ death would mean that Mary would be poor and probably homeless.  In this last act of love towards her, Jesus saw his grief-stricken mother alongside the disciple that ‘he loved most’, John, and provided for her an adopted son who would take his place, and in doing so provide a home and family for her.  

What an amazing example Jesus sets for children to honour their parents and ensure their welfare is looked after.  And what a selfless act, that he thought of her rather than being taken up by his own suffering while on the cross dying for our sins!

It was a great honour for John.  The God who created the universe had entrusted him with the special task to care for his mother.  It shows the love and trust that Jesus must have had for John.  It was a responsibility that he accepted gladly and he took her into his own home and family where she lived in Jerusalem and then Ephesus until her death.

N Ruddock

Natasha Ruddock is prayer editor at United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)
Words of Jesus on the cross Holy Week reflections series