Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
The disciples had all but scattered. The loyalty they proclaimed only hours prior had dissolved into cowardice as only John remained with Jesus’ mother Mary, Jesus’ aunt, another Mary, and Mary Magdalene. What an honor it must have been for John, who refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved (v.26)” throughout his Gospel, to be entrusted with caring for Mary in Joseph’s absence. Oh, to be that kind of disciple. Oh, to be faithful when others scatterred and to be right there at the Savior’s side while the crucifixion was underway. While Peter had denied Jesus three times and the others had fled, John was steadfast. John took Mary into his home “from that hour” which means that he did not delay to follow-through with what Jesus commissioned him to do.
All others had fallen away but John. For this, John’s reward was more ministry. It was a ministry of great personal importance to Jesus, the care of His own earthly mother. Thus, this intimate commissioning is one of the few words Jesus spoke from the cross. The falling away of other believers is the opposite of an excuse. The exposed hypocrisy of believers we once esteemed can deflate us, but it actually commissions us. Alright, one rower has fallen. Now, someone else, take his oar.
The first six words of this passage bring tears to my eyes. “Standing by the cross of Jesus…” When standing by the cross of Jesus, we see all that He has done for us. How could John possibly deny any request Jesus would make of him from the cross? How could we? Whatever He would ask of us, we must do. He went to the cross for us. Let us endure discomfort for Him.
What would have happened if John had delayed obeying Jesus? Is there any scenario in which it is acceptable to delay obeying God’s clearly spoken directive?
Pray: Thank God for being faithful to you even when no one else is. Commit to God that you will be faithful to Him even when no one else is.