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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mom

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"  and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.  John 19:25-27

Here is Jesus, on the cross, bearing the sins of the world, and what are his final words to other humans in this account? They are words of caring for his mom. There is a special bond between a mom and her sons and certainly what an incredible bond between the woman who bore the Savior and the Savior Himself.

Here Jesus is thinking of her, making sure she has a son to love, and he wants to make sure there is a son to take care of his Mom.

Verses 26-27 tell us that while Jesus was suffering on the cross, he was concerned about his mother and his youngest disciple. Both had depended on Jesus so much, his death was a terrible blow to them. So, what did Jesus do? He gave them each other for their mutual comfort. The love they had for him could now be lavished on each other to help them through their grief. He still does that today through his Church where he gives us each member to encourage the others.

But, I believe much more was happening here than we see on the surface. I believe Jesus was founding the family of God. Mary and John were among the first ones in it. You see, a new relationship was made possible when Jesus died. It is stronger and more lasting than any earthly relationships we know here. From that moment on, Mary was no longer the mother of Jesus. She became his sister! John was no longer his cousin and his youngest disciple; he became a brother of Jesus and a joint-heir to the Kingdom of God. Both of these along with millions of others would be in the new family of God.

You see, the Jews didn’t understand that God was their Heavenly Father. He was too high up and too far removed from them to be that familiar. They wouldn’t even pronounce his name; it was too holy! They called Jesus a blasphemer because he dared to refer to God as his Father. In Nazareth they had tried to throw him over a cliff when he claimed to be God’s Son. They said, “We knew his father, and his mother and brothers and sisters are here in Nazareth. He’s not God’s Son!”

But, those who reject Jesus as God’s Son can never know God as their Heavenly Father. Jesus is God’s only begotten, the first-born of the new family he established. Paul wrote in Romans 8 about our new relationship. Everyone who trusts Jesus receives the spirit of adoption so we can now call God “Abba”, which means “Father” or “Daddy.” In John 20:17
, Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' We take this for granted, but it was an unknown concept before Jesus died. He told the good news to Mary Magdalene that he was ascending to his Father and her Father, to his God and her God. Jesus not only called God his Father; he was now Mary’s Father, also! God can now be your Father, too. Jesus finished everything that was needed for all of us to belong to the family of God.

Happy Mother's Day.