Continuing our Lenten series on Jesus' final words on the Cross, we reach Jesus caring for His mother by wrapping up final details before His death.
This is another example to me of Jesus putting others above Himself. Consider the agony He was enduring. I would've wanted to just shut down and not make any effort to breathe let alone talk or make decisions. Yet, Jesus was selfless to the very end.
The good thing about writing this blog series is that it has prompted me to dwell on Jesus' words. As I contemplate each week what I'll write here, I've had to chew on Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to give me His wisdom to understand and apply His words to my life. Here are a couple of highlights I've been meditating on this week...
- Honor my mother and father.
To His very end, Jesus honored His mother. He made sure she was cared for (by the man who stood with Him--and her--in the worst) in His absence. How easy it is for us to think someone else will take care of those in need. We overlook God's commands to care for others and re-interpret His words as mere suggestions--"If you don't have anything else more important to do...". Even if you aren't the one to physically help your aging parents or others in need, be challenged to take responsibility for that care. I've told my own parents that we'll care for them in our home one day should they need it. I'm not sure they like it when I say that, but I've "warned" them anyway.
Being cared for is often as difficult as caring for others. It's humbling for both parties.
It's also a privilege.
- John, the beloved disciple, was there.
Are we there for others? Are we known as "devoted"? If not, what needs to change in our lives to be devoted in our love and service? Perhaps the first step needs to be a challenge to be devoted to Jesus Christ Himself. As John loved his Friend so very much, do we? Can we love and follow Jesus in the midst of persecution, mocking, life-threatening situations?
Maybe it's because I'm getting older, I don't know, but others' opinions of my love for Jesus Christ seem less and less significant. I still care what others think about me (and I know that often spirals into sinful selfishness), but Jesus is becoming more and more important to me. Because of this, my boldness in following Him is growing. I know He is the way, the truth, and the life. Who or what can beat that?!?
- Jesus witnessed John's devotion to Him and was assured that John would be devoted to Mary as well.
May our devoted witness to others glorify God. When we go through scary trials, but still call out to God and lean on Him, we show others that He never leaves us. After we confess sin and ask others to forgive us, we reveal a God who hasn't forsaken us because we struggle with sin. We testify to a Heavenly Father who loves us and washes us with the truth of His Word and cleanses us from those very sins so we can walk out in repentance.
Who is Jesus calling you to care for? Is it the older couple in your church? The family struggling in your neighborhood? Is it the unborn children facing their deaths through abortion?