Jesus’ commitment to his mother

Posted May 17, 2019

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Daily Scripture

John 2:12

12 After this, Jesus and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples went down to Capernaum and stayed there for a few days.

John 19:25-27

25 Jesus’ mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Reflection Questions

Jesus loved his mother Mary. We seldom note John 2:12’s report of a family visit amid Jesus' busy ministry. Mary was lovingly, loyally at the cross—and even dying, Jesus was loyal to her. “When Jesus saw his mother, he… could not commit her to the care of his brothers, for they did not believe in him yet (John 7:5).… So Jesus committed Mary to John’s care and John to Mary’s, so that they should comfort each other’s loneliness when he was gone. There is something infinitely moving in the fact that Jesus in the agony of the Cross, when the world’s salvation hung in the balance, thought of the loneliness of his mother in the days ahead.”*

  • When Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple, an elderly man named Simeon told her, “This boy is assigned to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel…. And a sword will pierce your innermost being too” (Luke 2:34-35). Can you sense how those words may have stayed with Mary as she watched her son on the cross? Do you believe Jesus' few but caring words brought her some comfort in that awful moment?
  • The dying Jesus made sure a man he trusted would care for his mother. We live in a different time and culture, but Jesus can be an example to us. Most of us don’t want to think about our mortality, so we often put off making a will or other end of life provisions. Are you willing to conquer your discomfort for the sake of any who depend on you, or might need to care for you if you became ill? If you haven’t, make plans that will help your family when you are going or gone. (The website caringinfo.org has resources to help you.)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, what a great choice Mary was to be your mother! Thank you for showing your love and caring for her, even in the hardest experience you ever faced. Amen.


* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of John—Volume 2 Chapters 8–21 (Revised Edition). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, page 257.

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Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 7th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group and a men’s group, and serves on the curriculum team.

Mary’s life story is an epic tale of incredible faith, seemingly crushing defeats, & ultimately glorious victories.  She would have such a unique perspective of the many episodes during her life:

  • Well Joseph, what do we do now, Mr. “Reservations?  Who needs reservations in Bethlehem?”
  • Really, Joseph?  Again with the “Jesus was born into a stable home?”  That joke is getting a little lame.
  • No, Jesus.  You just ate.  You’ll need to wait 45 minutes before you walk on water.
  • You know I hate it when you surprise me with last-second requests, Jesus.  So, exactly how many paper plates do you need for tomorrow?  What?  5,000?
  • I made waffles for you & your 12 friends, Jesus.  Yes, Thomas, it’s real butter.  Trust me.

Today’s question references one of the Bible’s most fascinating scenes: Mary & Joseph present Jesus at the Temple for consecration & encounter an older man named Simeon.  Let’s take a look:

Forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary & Joseph encounter our friend, Simeon, who is described as good & pious.  The Holy Spirit had informed Simeon that he would not die before seeing the anointed One.  So, Simeon has been quietly waiting.

Mary & Joseph enter the Temple & Simeon instantly realizes that this newborn boy is the One – Simeon’s calling has been fulfilled.  But Simeon isn’t quite done.  He comes to the young couple & pronounces a prophetic blessing that this little One would bring salvation to God’s people, reveal God to the Gentiles, & restore glory to Israel. But Simeon also warns that Jesus will also be quite controversial - those who choose to believe will rise & those who deny Him will fall & Mary will experience this rejection firsthand.  She & Joseph are amazed by Simeon’s words.

If we take a 20,000-feet view of this scene, we have an older man eagerly waiting to fulfill God’s calling on his life & wanting to help a young overwhelmed couple to recognize that their infant son is a blessed gift from God.  This raises 2 questions for us today:

Have we allowed a seasoned-citizen like Simeon to bless our lives?  With Matthew graduating & Jacob wrapping up his sophomore year in high school, I was reflecting on the many “Simeons” who have blessed us at church.  Nursery volunteers like Millie who would be there every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. to comfort & pray over our boys while we were in worship, or the many fantastic mentors, like Dick & Vicki Holdman & Joyce & Scott Blakesley, who have made the church a place of such inspiration, or our fellow congregants who have faithfully worshipped with us the past 19 years - they not only encourage Doris & myself, but they also get to be the ones to ask the boys how their studies are going, or press the boys about whether they do a good job texting Mom & Dad of their whereabouts, or our fellow K-Staters are the ones reminding Matthew to make sure he calls his Mom frequently so she can hear his voice when he is off to Manhattan next fall.

Conversely, have we taken advantage of the opportunities to be a “Simeon” in the lives of others?  For example, there is a new group forming, The Blue Valley North Father’s Club, which is a Dad-led grassroots effort to collectively support our kids, our families, & our communities.  In coordination with the administration & faculty, we’ll seek out volunteer opportunities within the school & try to help support the overall mental health of our young people. 

May Simeon’s life be an inspiration for each of us this day.  Who knows what a blessing it might be?

Now if you’ll excuse me, with stormy weather in the forecast, we are preparing for Matthew’s graduation shindig tomorrow.  Or as Joseph might say in the midst of a turbulent storm, “Hail.  Mary.”

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