“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”[a] So this is what the soldiers did. 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 lovedstanding nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” John 19.22-27
I can’t imagine the pain of watching your child die such an agonizing death. Yet Mary the mother of Jesus did this without hesitation. When every one else had run away, she, John, Mary Magdalene and Mary the wife of Clopas remained. Three Mary’s and John.
John, the author of this book and the one who referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” not a bad title— was the only disciple to be with Jesus faithfully during his trial and at the crucifixion. No one else remained loyal. Peter denied him, Judas betrayed him, and the other disciples ran for cover when the bombs of hate began to fall.
What kind of man must John be? Out of all the Gospels his is the one I enjoy the most. It’s compassionate, personal, and pointed. He certainly remained calm when the accusers took Jesus and even during his trial and crucifixion. Whereas Peter panicked, John remained calm, faithful, steady.
John not only recorded the life and ministry of Jesus for us to read two thousand years later but he must have believed what he wrote. He believed in while he was writing, experiencing Jesus’ miracles, and he believed it when all hell started breaking loose. Is this why John could stick with Jesus when no other disciple did?
And then there are the three Mary’s, one of his mother, one who he healed of demon possession, and another I know little about. Three Mary’s who watched and witnessed the death of the Messiah. They had heard all the teachers, about his suffering, death and being raised again. Did they believe it would come to pass? Did they trust in Jesus’ word to come true?
John and the Mary’s were faithful to Jesus when he needed the most love, support and prayers. When he was at his greatest trial, they were close by.
It’s hard to imagine Jesus needed humanity like he did. But those closest to him remained steadfast even when he felt the most alone in his life.
“O Lord God, it’s incredible to look at the characters of the Bible in your story of history and faith. How amazing that you, Lord Jesus, had faithful friends who did not give up on you. Thank you Lord for this lesson of faithfulness and love. Thank you for the drama of the cross, the narrative of your grace. Come now, Holy Spirit, let me not forsake your love. Help me be faithful to my calling and steadfast in your mission to make disciples of all nations. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen