Holy Week Reflections – Thursday – Jesus looks at Mary and John

Read John 19:19-27

Key verses

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

Think

This is a strange thing for Jesus to say. We know that Mary had a family, including sons who would take care of her when her eldest was dead. And John’s mother must still be alive, for only a few days earlier she had asked a favour of Jesus for James and John. So why would Jesus feel the need to put Mary into John’s care?

Earlier in the gospels, we read that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him. The first time they are counted among the believers is in the upper room at Pentecost. And if John’s mother really understood Jesus, she would not have asked that particular favour. Since Mary and John both understood Jesus to be the Son of God, there would be a spiritual connection between them that would support them through the difficult times to come.

Do we offer that same spiritual support to our family and friends in difficult times? Or are we like Jesus’ brothers and John’s mother, looking out only for our practical needs to be satisfied?

Sing: Blest are the pure in heart

Blest are the pure in heart,
For they shall see our God;
The secret of the Lord is theirs;
Their soul is Christ’s abode.

The Lord, who left the heavens,
Our life and peace to bring,
To dwell in lowliness with men,
Their pattern and their King;

Still to the lowly soul
He doth himself impart,
And for his cradle and his throne
Chooseth the pure in heart.

Lord, we thy presence seek;
May ours this blessing be;
Give us a pure and lowly heart,
A temple meet for thee.

John Keble (1792-1866) (verses 1 and 3),
attr William John Hall (1793-1861) (verses 2 and 4)

Pray

God gives us his word to enlighten our hearts. But he also wants us to support each other.

Pray for friends, family and corps members just now. Could you join with someone as a prayer partner, so you can support and encourage each other in your spiritual journey?

About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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