Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19:27 NABRE
The gospel writer John tells Jesus speaking from the cross to those present. He says to His mother, “Woman, behold your son.” To His disciple. “Behold, your mother.” Often an interpretation of this moment is Jesus providing practical care for his mother. In the time of Jesus women without a male protector, especially those of lower classes, had little or no social standing and few societal protections. They depend on a male, usually a husband or a son to care for them and so Jesus giving His mother to the disciple is a way of making sure she will be able to survive. This seems a rather simple idea of Jesus’ use of His last words. Jesus would care for the individual but I think as He has given His entire mission over to eleven men and the disciples who follow them, He can count of their care and protection of His mother. After all if they don’t care for the mother of their Lord then what hope is there they will seek and serve the lost?
Jesus never pushes familial ties particularly stringently in His message. We can recall Him saying those who do the will of His heavenly Father are His brother, sister and mother (Matthew 12:50). This reciprocal receiving of mother and disciple must have more to do with creating a new community. One where it doesn’t take familial bonds to care for one another but the love and immersion of the Holy Spirit which creates unbreakable bonds. Jesus is declaring a community with His mother and His disciples, a community He expects to grow and be a model. Some might say this is the forming of the church but certainly it is bringing a new practicality to the community being formed by Jesus’ declaration.
Can you be bonded to other Christians? Who is your mother in Christ?Jesus is declaring a community with His mother and His disciples, a community He expects to grow and be a model. Click To Tweet
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