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As the Lord of the Universe was in His last breaths of life and hanging upon the Cross, even then, was He still ministering to others in their time of need. Knowing that Mary’s heart was being broken and torn apart, Jesus would give her these words of comfort, encouragement, and assurance. These words were spoken to Mary in the authority of the Almighty, as Jesus — born of Mary in the flesh — would now be returning to His eternal place of power and authority upon the Throne of Heaven.
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. … 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
– Jhn 19:23, 25-27 KJV
The Amplified Bible says, “[Dear] woman, See, [here is] your son… …to the disciple, See, [here is] your mother!” – John 19: 26-27 AMP (Paraphrased)
Jesus, in His divine understanding of every need Mary had, was bestowing upon her the blessing of a “new” son, to be her earthly guardian and caregiver since Jesus would no longer be there in this dimension of His earthly “roles.” Again, Jesus, the Son of God — or God in the flesh — was in the final stage of completion of His redemptive work on earth and would now return to His place from whence He came, sitting at the right hand of the Father.
We see Jesus use this same salutation — Woman! — as He did when He addressed His mother as, “Woman” at the onset of His first miracle of water into wine at the wedding feast. There, He also was speaking from His place of authority and in consideration of His ultimate purpose on earth, which is/was to save mankind. When Mary asked Jesus to do something about the wine running out, Jesus answered — not disrespectfully but purposefully — that His time had not yet come.
4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” – Jhn 2:4 ESV
This time, or hour, which Jesus was referring to was the eternal purpose of His life in the flesh on earth. When Mary asked Jesus to address this situation, she was asking Jesus to consider it in the temporal sense or an earthly nature; not that Mary was aware or even unaware of Jesus’ potential gifts or — being aware — irreverent to Jesus’ miraculous powers. Mary knew full well that Jesus was no ordinary man. A woman who becomes pregnant with child after a visitation from an angelic being and knows that she is as pure as the driven snow does not forget that this “Child” is special. Still, Mary’s request was granted to her by Jesus in the spirit of the impudent, but friendly neighbor, who boldly knocked on the door of the sleeping household at the midnight hour to borrow food to feed an unexpected guest. Thank you, Mary, for ushering in the Kingdom with song, trumpet, banner, and parade; and that, with temerity and urgency. Blessed are you among women!
Mary would no longer have the “son” she bore in the flesh residing in the flesh with her in this world — on this earth. So before Jesus died, He gave Mary a “new” son in John, “the one Jesus loved.” It is unclear if John’s mother had already passed from this world, but it is possible that this could be the case, as Jesus did tell John, “behold thy mother.”
In the totality of this declarative moment, the Lord and Creator of John and Mary was now uniting them as mother and son, and son and mother. Their relationship from this time forth would be based on those words of Jesus spoken to them by the Prince of Glory as He drew His last few breaths. The heart of our Savior would work to the last, purposeful beat as He declared, finally, “It is finished.” — nothing wasted, nothing left.
by Keith Kampschaefer (Sept. 13, 2012)
Woman, behold thy son!
As the Lord was in His last breaths hanging on the Cross, He was still ministering to others in their time of need. Knowing that Mary’s heart was being broken, Jesus would comfort her with encouragement and assurance and give her a “new” son.
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