I absolutely see and get that Jesus honored both his Father and his mother from the cross. The fact that He was on the cross was to honor His Father in Heaven, that is why He drank this cup. And, by speaking from that cross to charge John becoming a son to Mary, His mother, He cared for and honored his mother.
But, I think there is also a gift in this for John and for us.
John 19:26-27 record this brief exchange and the result of it. It says, “He (Jesus) said to her (Mary), “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple (John), “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple (John) took her into his home.”
Let’s think about that. John had a mother. Tradition holds that her name was Salome. She was married to Zebedee and had, at least, 2 sons, James and John, both apostles of Jesus (the sons of thunder). We know she too was a follower of Jesus and a bold woman who loved her sons (she asked Jesus to grant them a special place in his kingdom sitting at his right and left). Tradition also holds that was Mary’s relative (sister/cousin) and the one referred to as being at the cross (John 19:25) along with his mother, his mother’s sister (Salome), Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene.
But when Jesus gives John a calling, a mission, an instruction, he goes all in. Notice that it does not say he checking in on Mary periodically, or that he sent her a check every month, or that he helped organize her affairs with her. Instead, it says, “from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
What a blessing that must have been to John. To live with the mother of our Lord. To daily share a house with this woman who had been blessed above all women to be touched by the Holy Spirit and give birth to (and raise) our savior. What a blessing to have such a clear calling and pronouncement from the Lord, a mission, a direction.
But what about us? How do we approach the work that God gives us to do? Do we phone it in? Do we keep it at a distance, separating church from work or church from home? Do we go serve in a food kitchen and call it good? Or, do we bring it home? Do we embrace it and the people God gives us to shepherd and make them part of our family? We do find joy in being with them, sharing life and love of our Lord together?
John focused exclusively on what Jesus said and the instruction he provided to Mary and John. The others painted the bigger picture. John was the zoom lens of Jesus’ heart
Cared for his mother (and John), took on suffering even though He was King and Holy
Altruism is one of the greatest witnesses because it is contrrary to the “survival of the fittest” mindset