John 19:26 – May 24, 2021

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” John 19:26 NABRE            

Jesus from the cross creates a relationship between his mother and the beloved disciple. In the era of the gospels, a woman has no social status, depending on the male for protection and care. It could be Jesus is looking out for the future of His mother by telling His disciple to care for her. But, we read of other brothers, who should be in a position to provide physical assistance. Jesus is creating a spiritual relationship between the beloved disciple and His mother. Family is an important structure for early life, but Jesus doesn’t focus on family, in fact Jesus says his mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it (see Luke 8:21.) Jesus prioritizes the spiritual community over the natural family. In this moment Jesus may not be setting up physical support, but His mother is becoming a full member of the community of disciples formed on the word of God. Jesus is more concerned with the future of his mother’s soul and the soul of the beloved disciple than whether she has a place to live and food to eat. 

For Jesus a community centered on the word of God is the family He knows will become strong, care for one another and represent God’s word in their life. Jesus is telling His mother she will become part of the community of disciples. This likely challenges other family members to become community members as well, James called the brother of Jesus for example joins and leads the Jerusalem community. Natural family is difficult, we tend to live in the past which forced us to live life together, and we tend to see each other’s flaws, not possibilities. Jesus wants a family centered on love, not birth. 

Who do you consider your family? Can you join in communion with other Christians?

Natural family is difficult, we tend to live in the past which forced us to live life together, and we tend to see each other's flaws, not possibilities. Jesus wants a family centered on love, not birth. Click To Tweet

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