“And He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
And from then on, this disciple took her into his home.” John 19:27 NLT
2nd Sunday - “Turning The Table!”
This jewel of a verse often is deprived of a much wider application. We’re most familiar with its iteration on Good Friday in connection with a previous admonition to Mary the mother of Jesus from her dying Son. In the preceding verse Jesus instructs Mary to regard John as her son. It is not surprising that in the ancient biblical world, an elder son was assigned to care for a mother, who was unmarried. What is a bit surprising is that Jesus did not grant custodial care of his mother to any of His siblings (cf. Matthew 13:5, NLT). James and Jude were presumed to be the older remaining siblings, but each became an apostle and they were each martyred. Jesus consigned the custodial care of His mother to John, who was the youngest among the disciples, and who would live to be an elderly man exiled on the island of Patmos. The scriptures provide hardly any information about Mary after the ascension of Jesus. However, some reliable historical sources shed great light on the chronology of the first century period. Hippolytus of Thebes who gathered fragments of information centuries later, believes Mary died some 11 years after the ascension of her Son, probably in 41 A.D. It is more certain than not, that John cared for Mary throughout her remaining years. John took care of the mother entrusted to him; whose heart had been “pierced with many arrows.” In the next several decades, the United States, and many other countries, will be challenged by an aging population. Becoming a care provider will be a necessity and not an option. The admonition of Jesus to His youngest disciple, John, is a message to every generation that at some point the tables will turn. Mothers who nurture and take care of their children, will need the assistance of those children or from a custodial person. Jesus paints a vivid portrait of the inevitable cycle of life. Never forget our mothers, even more so when the evening shades appear! We owe them!