March 26, 2003
3rd word - "The Word of dying concern"
INTRODUCTION: In the midst of His suffering Jesus reaches out to two of His closest associates a dear friend and His own mother. Jesus says: "Woman behold your son…son, your mother"
1. Mary is suffering as she watches from a distance.
A. Simeon of old had predicted that a sword would pierce her own heart when Jesus was but eight-days-old. I have been privileged to share in some tremendous joys among the families of Friedheim. Some of the most painful are the hurts of parents and children. It is painful to be a parent at hospital when the surgeon gives the news that the procedure did not go well. To coax and prod and encourage a child who finds school a challenge is often so painful for the parent. Consider your own experiences of being a child - of being a parent.
B. There is a special bond between mother and son; here at the cross Simeon's prophecy is being fulfilled. Now she is sharing in Jesus' suffering. On strictly human terms Mary is loosing her beloved son and there is nothing she can do to stop it! She must watch from a distance, as her own son is tortured!
2. In calling His mother Jesus singles Mary out for attention.
A. Notice that Jesus calls His mother "woman". Why the term? Why not "mother" or "Mom"?
1. Jesus shows a desire to spare her the hurt of hearing from His dying lips "mother". Jesus realizes that His fate is in the Father's hands - There is nothing that Mary can do not.
2. Jesus also imparts for us a proper perspective - She is as any other woman. True, she bore Jesus in her womb but she would have to be saved like anyone else.
B. In singling Mary out Jesus turns her over to John. John has received a stepmother. Mary a stepson. John will now have the responsibility to care form Mary as his own mother. This is the 4th commandment - the honor and care of parents. Jesus would not be able to physically care for His mother so He chooses John. Whom do we choose when parents' cant care for themselves?
3. By these words Jesus demonstrates:
A. Proper families regard.
1. Parents own children spiritual and physical care, love and support.
2. Children owe parents love, honor, service, obedience. When they are older physical care and support.
B. Jesus by these words demonstrated deep concern for others. Half of Jesus' last words on the cross are concerned with the needs of others.
CONCLUSION: We are connected to each other by blood and by faith. May we show proper human regard especially with those from our own family.