Behold, Your Son! (John 19:25-27)
As a youngster, I loved magic. Mom and Dad bought me books which taught me how to do different tricks, and they bought me several magic sets with all sorts of neat tricks.
At our annual elementary school talent show, I always signed up to do a magic show. One year I had signed up, and Mom, as always, promised to be there. On the morning of the talent show, however, she woke up sick as a dog. She told me there was no way she could come to the show; I was so disappointed, and I’m sure my face showed it. When I got up on that stage, there sat my mother. She didn’t feel like being there, but she didn’t want to disappoint her son. That’s a precious memory that I’ll carry to my grave.
Each of you could tell comparable stories. A sick mother who still served. In lean times, a mother who made sure you ate before she did. A mother who had warm cookies and cold milk waiting after a long day of school. A mother who listened no matter your problem. A mother who stayed by your bedside all night when you were sick. What precious memory will you take to your grave?
I’m confident that all of us were raised my mothers who loved us, nurtured us, and wanted what was best for us. That makes makes honoring your mother so much easier. God commands that we honor our mothers. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Ex 20:12). Ephesians 6:1-3.
Jesus, our supreme example, honored his father and mother. After Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple, “he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them” (Lk 2:51). From the cross, when the Lord experienced agony you cannot fathom, he honored his mother. We’re going to explore Jesus’s example from the cross this morning and learn: “Honor your momma!”
Scripture (John 19:25-27)
Remember how much agony Jesus was suffering. The Lord has been beaten within an inch of death. He has been mocked unmercifully. Nails have pierced his hands and feet; the placement of the nails in his hands would have pierced a nerve and shattered bone. He was struggling to breathe throughout this encounter (the placement of the body on the cross suffocated the condemned), and every breath and word would have been agony. And he was bearing the sins of all mankind. This encounter took place at a time of intense physical, emotional, and spiritual agony for Jesus.
Jesus’s mother, her sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene were “standing by the cross.” Mary’s sister mentioned here is almost certainly the mother of James and John. If you piece together what the other Gospels recorded and this reference, that’s the most logical conclusion. That would make Jesus and John first cousins, and Mary John’s aunt. Thus, John—called “the disciple whom Jesus loved” throughout this book—would have been a logical choice to care for Mary.
Jesus saw his mother and John, and he said, “Woman, behold your son!” Mary would likely have been in her mid to late forties, has undoubtedly been widowed, and lived in a society where women earned little money; therefore, she needed someone to support her. The obligation to give financial support to the family’s matriarch fell to the eldest son, but Jesus was preparing to leave this world. He, therefore, couldn’t care for Mary’s physical needs, and he chose John to do so.
In most situations, Jesus’s brothers would have been a more logical choice than John. But
- Jesus’s brothers were not at the cross.
- They, at this time, did not believe their brother was the Messiah; they only believed after the resurrection.
Jesus said to his disciple, “Behold, your mother!” Jesus’s cross was apparently not very high (it didn’t need to be to suffocate him); Mary and John, therefore, could easily have heard Jesus. Jesus used legal language and had witnesses near the cross; therefore, this would have been a binding contract. John understood that and took Mary into “his own home.”
“Honor your momma!” At the worst moment of his life—the worst moment in so many ways—Jesus honored his momma. If he could honor his mother in so much torture, you can surely honor your momma. How can you honor your momma?
One: Provide for Your Momma.
Jesus did; you must. David provided for his parents: David “said to the king of Moab, ‘Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me’” (1 Sam 22:3). Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for not providing for their parents: Matthew 15:4-6. Since Jesus condemned them for saying what would have been given to their parents had been given to God, the implication is very clear: The Lord expected them to provide for their parents. When discussing provisions for widows, Paul wrote, “If a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Tim 5:4).
We no longer live in a society where parents normally need financial provisions as they age. Between pensions and Social Security, most parents are financially stable as they age.
Yet that does not remove the need to provide for your parents. What can you do to provide for your mother?
- Provide prayer on her behalf.
- Provide rides to appointments.
- Provide the effort to go to the grocery store.
- Provide companionship.
- Provide comfort.
- Provide a godly life which will cause her no need to worry or be ashamed.
Two: Profess Your Momma.
Throughout the Scriptures, children are exhorted to follow the teaching of their parents. “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Prov 1:8). “The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures” (Prov 30:17). Timothy honored the teaching of his mother: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim 1:5).
What I am about to say only applies to those with godly mothers, but I’m confident that applies to nearly everyone in this assembly. You must profess your mother by following her example and her teaching. I firmly believe this biblical teaching applies to you whether your mother is living or gone to meet the Lord.
What good did your mother teach you with her mouth? What good did your mother show you by her works? Do something godly this week your mother taught you and honor either her memory or her in the flesh. How will you profess your mother?
“Honor your momma!” As much as you must honor your momma, you must honor Jesus above her. When Jesus was told that his mother and brothers were waiting outside the house to see him, the Lord said, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Lk 8:21). “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26). Not a single godly mother would have it any other way.
Are you honoring the Lord Jesus above everything and everyone in your life? Do you need to begin honoring him thus this morning?