Behold your mother

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

In the midst of Jesus’ crucifixion, a tender moment provides insight into the hearts of a mother and a son.

Jesus is nailed to the cross and his humanity reaches its highest peak as the excruciating pain claws at his body. Lifting himself  to breathe brings even more pain as he fights against the bloody nails.

Despite the nightmare, Christ gazes down on the two most important people on the planet to him. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, stood next to Mary, Jesus’ beloved Mother. The Savior’s heart fills with love.

Decades before, Mary received a shocking message from an angel that she would bear the Messiah, despite being a virgin (Luke 1:26-38).

She was told that he would “reign over the house of Jacob” (Luke 1:33) on the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32). Undoubtedly she puzzled over these words.

Simeon told Mary that her son would be responsible for the “fall and rise of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34) and that “a sword would pierce [her] soul” (Luke 2:35).

Jesus grew and eschewed material possessions and became hated by the religious leaders of the day, who sought to kill him. Certainly Mary wondered about the prophecy.

When Jesus was betrayed by one of his own and his apostles were scattered, we wonder who came for Mary and what she thought. She loved her Son but his brothers had doubted him (John 7:1-5; Mark 3:20-21). Did any doubt creep into her heart?

Nevertheless, as her son suffered, Mary was there. She would not betray him. Her overwhelming love and resolve would lead Jesus to give her to John for the remainder of her days (John 19:25-27). Their resilient bonds overcame everything man had placed between them.

Why would he do this? Would she not be taken care of by Jesus’ siblings despite their unbelief? No one really knows a concrete answer to that question.

However, despite the unknowns, Mary goes with John and at least some of Jesus’ siblings become Christians since James and Jude wrote books of the New Testament.

Jesus’ love is John’s blessing, showing that family is solidified and re-defined in Christ and that love overcomes everything (Ephesians 2:19; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). No one will ever be lonely in Christ (Hebrews 13:5).

Mary’s legacy gives us comfort.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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