Status: Family. A word of relationship (John 19:26-27)

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  • There’s a story about the Lone Ranger.[1] He and his sidekick, Tonto, are crossing the plains. All of a sudden, a group of Indians attack from the south. Tonto says, “What do we do, Kimosabi?” He says, “Well, we should go to the north.” So they go north to run from the Indians but then shortly run into another group of Indians positioned on a northern ridge, prepared to attack also. Tonto says, “Kimosabi, what do we do now?” The Lone Ranger says, “Well, we should go west.”
    They hit the western ridge only to find a group of Indians there too. Tonto says, “Well, what do we do now, Kimosabi?” The Lone Ranger says, “Well, we can only go east. That’s all that’s left.” The problem was that another group of Indians were positioned to attack from the east. They were surrounded! The Indians were slowly closing in on them from all sides.
    The Lone Ranger looked at Tonto and asked, “What do we do now, Tonto? These are your people.”
    Tonto replied, “What do you mean we, Kimosabi?”It’s easy to leave when the going gets tough.
    – – Marriage Troubles / Parenting Trials / Suffering Friends / Church Conflicts / Work Challenges
    – – When the stressors of life come we need support and people to stand by us.
    – – – – Sometimes those closest to you will cause you the most confusion and disappointment.

    Today’s message will examine how in the gospel, God gives us support in life stressors.

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EXAMINE           John 19:26-27           Status: Family. A word of relationship.

Status

  • Father, forgive them.
  • Today, you will be with me in paradise.
  • Woman, behold, your son… disciple, behold, your mother.

 

John 19:16-27
25  but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
27  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

 

The cross of Christ displays the love of God for individuals.

As we continue building on this series, an added observation about the cross is those who are near the cross. In addition to Jesus, it is reported other observers[2]:

  • Roman soldiers
  • Criminals
  • Mary, mother of Jesus
  • Unnamed sister of Jesus’ mother (she’s mother of James & John; therefore, Jesus and John are cousins)
  • Mary, wife of Clopas
  • Mary Magdalene (cf. Lk 8:2 healed ofdemons; also Jn 20:21 saw empty tomb).

 

The Gospels list these individuals surrounding the cross to note their contrasts of responses; in their responses we find our own. Further, we realize Jesus died for each person. God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. The cross shows us though God did not need us, He wanted us. Jesus chose to die so God could spend eternity with us. In all, God’s love is available to all but His forgiveness is only applied to those whom repent of sins and place faith in Jesus Christ.

 

  • When we are tempted to doubt God’s love, reflect on the outstretched arms of Christ on the cross. God’s love does not fluctuate based on our failures any more than differentiating Jesus’s crucifixion resulting in a cough versus a tomb.
  • Sociologist have a concept called the looking-glass-self: a person’s self is cultivated from those they communicate and interact most (family, teachers, coaches, bosses, friends, pastors, etc.). If this is true – then 1) our words to others are important 2) whom we surround ourselves is important, and finally,
    3) How would your life be different if you believed the Bible’s words and received God’s whispers of His lavish love for you; and if you could see yourself through the eyes and heart of God??

 

  • Psalm 36:7 “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! [We] take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
  • Psalm 86:5 “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in loveto all who call to you.”
  • John 3:16 “For God so loved _____ [insert name] that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
  • Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved meand gave himself for me.
  • Ephesians 2:4-5 God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.
  • 1John 3:1; 4:10 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God… In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

 

Specifically, Jesus is taking care of His mother. Throughout their life together we know there is a special bond:

  • Pregnancy bond with leaping babies (Lk 1:41; also Ps 22:9-10), praise songs written as new mom (Lk 1:46 ff), prophetic announcements of infant to mom (Lk 2:34-35), childhood maturation of Jesus’ ministry (Lk 2:41-50), inaugurating Jesus’ public ministry at a wedding (Jn 2), and ongoing involvement in life together.
  • Mary is present at the crucifixion (Jn 19:25-27) and also present at the empty tomb (Lk 24).
  • Mary knew she needed a Savior (Lk 1:46; 2:35; 11:27-28; Mk 3:31-35); she’s not a co-redemptress.

– – Why doesn’t Jesus appoint one of his brothers or sisters to care for mother Mary?
They didn’t believe until after the resurrection (cf Jn 7:5; Ac 1:14).
– – Why does Jesus wait until this moment – most significant in human history – to plan care for mother, when He could have done this previously?
It’s not significant that Jesus does this, but it’s significant when He does it.[3] Jesus wants to show us in the gospel, God not only cares for our sin but He also cares for our struggles (cf. Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:6-7; 18:7).
à  Respond to the truth of God’s care for our sin & struggles: we pray about significant and small things of our life (Php 4:6; 1Thes 5:17-18; 1Pet 5:7). Pray when you’re blessed or stressed, when you’re joyful or fearful, or whether you’re furious or grateful. In all things, pray to the Savior who sacrificed His life so you may know a listening and loving Father God.
When praying becomes a problem… pray about distraction / pray with others

à  A godly mother always stands by her child. In circumstances that are harming a child, the role of the parent is still supportive, but in a way that is emotionally observing not enabling activity. Notice, Mary is not recorded with any words at the cross, nor could she rescue her child from this happening. Yet, Mary is trusting God for a better and brighter future because she is found going to the empty tomb. She believes the words and ways of God are for good. May parents who endure seeing their child’s challenges have the faith and hope of Mary in our God.

In addition to seeing Jesus’s heart for individuals, we see…

The cross of Christ displays the heart of God for families.

Additionally, Jesus is tasking His disciples to care for the downtrodden.

  • “the disciple whom Jesus loved” The beloved disciple is John.
    • John 13:23 he’s with Jesus at the last supper / 19:26 he’s standing near the cross / 20:4-8 & 21:7 he’s with Peter following the resurrection of Jesus.
    • At the cross Peter and Philip are not present, Andrew abandoned, Bartholomew and Matthew are missing, James older & James younger have misgivings, Simon the Zealot is absent, and of course Thomas and Thaddaeus are distrusting, and we all know Judas was a traitor; but John was trustworthy.

à The cross thins the crowd. Jesus was popular until He wasn’t.
Today, churches are often popular with the crowds until the word of God demands your preferences to be crucified to God’s purposes.

  • “woman, behold, your son… disciple, behold, your mother… the disciple took her to his own home.”
    • Jesus is placing Mary in the hands of a trusted friend. Apparently, Joseph had died and Mary was a widow. The fact that Jesus chose the disciple John indicates the importance of spiritual family. It is eisegesis and an anachronistic interpretation to relate this to Mary as the church’s mother.[4] Rather, Mary enters the home and care of John. Further, Mary is correspondingly de-emphasized in the narrative without a recorded word spoken or action taken.

 

  • Jesus’s third word from the cross was one of relationship. The cross results in forgiveness and family. No one is born into the family of God. You must have personal faith in Christ and God adopts you as part of His forever family.
    • The cross is made of a vertical and horizontal beam. God has designed life that you must follow Jesus for yourself, but you cannot follow Jesus by yourself. We need each other. Your spiritual success will only be as strong as your support system. The church is imperative to your purpose.
    • Like biological families, church family can bump and even bruise you – but can also bolster you.
      • When conflict occurs, communicate with persons involved (no gossip; Matt 18).
      • Leaving a church without biblical grounds (immoral or theological) often says something about you more than it does the church. It leaves unsettled relationships and an unsettled soul, hindering your relationship with God (Mat 5:23-24).
      • When the church is able to stay united, even in the midst of differences, it speaks to the power of the gospel to bring about reconciliation.
    • SPBC family
      • Amen to church family who is imperfect but pressing on in the grace of God and growth of His kingdom (Eph 3:20-21).
  • Jesus did not suffer crucifixion so His followers could become a church audience. The death of Jesus occurred to create a Christian army of grace and hope in a world of pain, loneliness, and death.
    • 20 in 19 (2019)… so far we have 1 / 2-3 pending soon. #WhosYour1
    • Easter is for Everyone / inviter cards
    • 2Gather as a response to world’s loneliness and church mission.
    • Anne Arundel (SP):
      • Substance abuse
      • Social adversity
        • Mental health
        • Family life
          • *Consider the impact that older, widowed, pained Mary had on young John.

APPLY/THINK

Ultimately, Jesus’s death on the cross shows He is worthy and you are weak.

  • Forgiveness is available.
  • Family is approachable.

 

[1] From Tony Evans, Book of Illustrations.

[2] Scholars debate how many persons John is referencing, but best view is 4 different persons. Also note in the NT there are at least six different women named Mary in the Bible: https://www.gotquestions.org/how-many-Marys.html.

[3] This point was inspired from Pastor Matt Carter sermon “Woman, Behold, Your Son” at The Austin Stone.

[4] D.A. Carson, Pillar NT Commentary: John 19:26.

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