Behold, your son! ... Behold, your mother!

So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in all of the hoopla that is surrounding Jesus as he suffers on the cross and forget that one is watching him with a broken heart. What would it have been like to have been Mary? Can you even imagine watching your son being treated in such a vile fashion? What a nightmarish experience this must have been for Mary as she watched her beloved son, who has done absolutely nothing wrong, be nailed to the cross. Words escape me as I try to come to grips with her feelings.

Yet another is also watching with a broken heart. John, the writer of the gospel, who describes himself as "the disciple whom he loved", is standing next to Jesus' mom. He too cannot believe what he is seeing. His soul has been pierced and hope seems so far. To these two hurting souls Jesus speaks sweet words calling them into a family relationship. With these words Christ is speaking to us about finding comfort in each other when life seems out of control. In a sense we are God's familial gifts to each other.

Lord, give me an open heart for your family. Help us to share our pain with each other.

... this devotion is on the last words of Christ.


  1. I sat weeping last night as I watch "The Passion of Christ" as part of my Holy Week.

    The sight of his mother at the foot of the cross...his tormented and distorted body, racked with blood and pain, taking care of his mother's future needs...

    Behold, you son! Behold your mother!

    Oh what a Savior...I'm so undeserving of his love, and yet he calls me daughter... I part of that family, and I bow in awe.

  2. Bob,

    You were right. This is a great addition to our discussion of the necessity of deepening relationships among the church. I especially think your prayer at the end is appropriate: "Lord, give me an open heart for your family. Help us to share our pain with each other." Amen.



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