“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son. Than saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother”. (John 19:25,26)
“There stood by the cross of Jesus his mother”. The crowds are mocking, the thieves are taunting, the priests are jeering, the soldiers are callous and indifferent, the Savior is bleeding, dying – and there is his mother beholding the horrible mockery. What a wonder if she had fled from such a scene. But with transcendent courage, she stood by the Cross of Jesus with marvelous fortitude. She represses her grief and stands there silent in reverence for the Lord.
“Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” (John 19:27) The Lord Jesus evidenced his perfection in the manner in which he fully discharged the obligations of every relationship that he sustained, either to God or man. On the Cross we see his tender care and solicitude for his mother, and in this we have the pattern of Jesus Christ presented to all children for their imitation, teaching them how to conduct themselves toward their parents according to the laws of nature and grace.
The words which the Finger of God engraved on the two tables of stone and which were given to Moses have never been repealed. The words of Exodus 20:12 are reiterated in Ephesians 6:1, 2 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise: That it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth”. This commandment goes far beyond bare obedience. It embraces love and affection, gratitude and respect. When children reach adulthood which is the age of full personal responsibility, the age when they are no longer beneath the control of their parents, their obligation to honor their parents does not cease. They owe their parents a debt which they can never fully repay. The very least they can do is to hold their parents in high esteem, to put them in the place of superiority, to reverence them.
As it is with us so it was with Jesus. The years of obedience to Mary and Joseph ended, but not so the years of “honor”. In the last and awful hours of his human life, amid the infinite sufferings of the Cross, the Lord Jesus thought of her who loved him and whom he loved; thought of her present necessity and provided for her future need by committing her to the care of his disciple John who most deeply understood his love.
This is one of the greatest wonders of his Person – the blending of the most perfect human affection with his Divine Glory. Engaged as he was, in a Divine transaction, making atonement for all the sins of all his people, grappling with the powers of Darkness, yet amid it all, he still has the same human tenderness, which shows the perfection of the Man Jesus Christ. Rightly was it said in Isaiah 9:6, “His name shall be called Wonderful”. Wonderful he was in all that he did. Wonderful was he in life and wonderful was he in death.