THE THIRD WORD FROM THE CROSS
So Jesus, seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, 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 into his family.
There are at least three reasons that this word of Jesus to his mother and to the beloved disciple is a tremendous encouragement to our faith. The first reason is this: if Jesus was so eager to care for his mother in her hour of need, how much more is he eager to care for his disciples who hear the word of God today and do it. Ordinarily one would reason just the opposite: if he loved his disciples who were not his relatives, how much more would he love his own mother. But Jesus didn't view things in an ordinary way. With him it was strangely true: if he loved his mother with a natural affection how much more can his obedient disciples bank on his love.
We know this because of an incident recorded for us in Luke 8:19-21:
His mother came to him and his brothers also, and they were unable to get to him because of the crowds. And it was reported to him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see you." But he answered and said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
That was not a depreciation of his mother and brothers, but an exaltation of obedience. It means very clearly those who hear the word of God and do it have a more ready access to Jesus' fellowship and help than do his own family members.
In one sense it is very risky to hear and do the word of God. For the word of God is always calling us to sacrificial acts of love. "He who would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his own cross and follow me" (Luke 9:23). But in another sense there is nothing safer and more rewarding than to hear and do the word of God, because Jesus said, those who hear and do the word of God are my mother and my brothers. Loving obedience to the word of God puts us in a relationship to Jesus which is more intimate and more certain to be heard and helped than his nearest family relations.
So you can see now what a tremendous encouragement it is to our faith when Jesus makes provision for the needs of his mother at Calvary. Those who hear and do the word of God have an even greater claim on Jesus' care than she. So if he took care of her, will he not much more provide for all your needs, "O ye of little faith"?
The second reason that this word to Jesus' mother is an encouragement to our faith is this: if Jesus could provide for the needs of his own in a moment of his deepest weakness and humiliation, how much more can he provide for your need in his present power and exaltation! Not only are you, as an obedient disciple, in a better position than Jesus' own mother to receive blessing at the hand of the Lord, but he is now in a better position to give it to you than he was to her then.
According to Ephesians 1:19,20 the greatness of God's power which is working on behalf of us who believe "accords with the working of the strength of his might which God generated by raising Christ from the dead and seating him at his right hand in heaven." The satisfaction made for our sin at Calvary was so complete that God honored this sacrifice by raising Jesus from the dead and giving him incomparable glory and power and wealth of all things. And so when the apostle contemplates whether we can bank on Christ for the provision of our need, it is this wealth of glory that gives him assurance. He says, "My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). The risen Christ is so full of glorious riches that he need not turn anyone away. As Paul says in Romans 10:12: "There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches to all who call upon him."
Therefore the word of Jesus to his mother from...
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