The Tender Care of Christ

March 5, 2023 Preacher: Samuel Parkison Series: 7 Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: John 19:26–27

Here at the end of his life, we see in Jesus the tender love of a son for his mother --  a mother who had sometimes misunderstood him. As he dies he settles his earthly obligations as best he can, we hear him say, "Woman, here is your son ... Here is your mother" (John 19:26-27).

There are four lessons we can learn from this third word of Christ from the cross:

1. A Friend Cares for His Companion
2. A Son Cares for His Mother
3. The Good Shepherd Cares for His Flock
4. The Seed of the Woman Cares for His Posterity

Reflecting on this Third Word from the Cross, we see something about the extent of Jesus' love. Here he is dying in agony, gasping for each breath. He sees his mother, the one who comforted him through all of childhood's cuts and bruises, teases and taunts. When he was a boy he would run home to mother and instantly be wrapped in her protective, comforting mother-love.

But now as he sees her at the foot of the cross, heartbroken, weeping, inconsolable, his heart goes out to her. Rather than being consumed by an understandable concern for his own welfare, he is touched by hers.

Getting Started

1. Mothers’ day is approaching soon. What is the best gift (in your opinion) that you have given to your mother? Mothers - what is the best gift you have ever received?

Read John 19:26-27

2. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

Digging Deeper

3. Jesus didn't address Mary as, 'mother', or 'dear mother' in verse 26. He calls her “women”. The NIV has Jesus calling her, "Dear woman", which is unfortunate, because the word 'dear' is not in the Greek. The NIV doesn't give us an accurate translation here. I suppose the NIV adds the 'dear' to soften the seeming harshness of Jesus addressing His mother as, 'Woman'. Why did he call her 'Woman' and not 'Mother'?

4. Many Catholics see Jesus' Third Word as more than an act of family devotion. They picture Mary as being appointed as mother, not only of the Beloved Disciple, but of all disciples - the Church. How does verse 27b show this view to be wrong?

5. What do you think Mary is feeling while she is waiting at the cross for Jesus to die? What kinds of thoughts are going through her mind? (John 19:29-27)

The Heart of the Matter

6. Why does Jesus make John responsible for his mother Mary? What does this tell us about Jesus? How should we apply this in our own lives?

7. How do we reconcile our primary commitment to Jesus with responsibility for our families?

8. What are the implications of Jesus' Third Word for your own personal family relationships?

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