“When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27)
Jesus was Mary’s firstborn Son. By the time He had grown up, her husband Joseph had probably died (since he is not mentioned anywhere in later stories). This would have left Mary a vulnerable widow, economically dependent on her children. Jesus could not take His responsibility as her firstborn Son, since He would die, arise from the dead and return to heaven.
But even in His intense suffering on the cross, He showed His care for Mary. When He saw her standing nearby with “the disciple whom He loved”, He made the provision that this disciple would care for her as a son would naturally do. Although Jesus’ words sound a little cryptic to me, His message was understood, since the disciple took Jesus’ mother to live in his home from then on.
This story is a wonderful example for us. May it inspire us to care for our parents or other family members who need help. But this story also shows God’s desire for Christians to care for each other as “spiritual brothers and sisters” or, in this case, as sons and mothers.
As Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).