Jesus takes Care of His Mother (John 19:26-27) Mother’s Day Message

Allow me to begin this sermon by saying “Happy Mother’s Day!” I am grateful for all the mothers and all the maternal influences out there. Thank you for your constant work.

Something I read in the past few weeks said the following:

What is a Mother?

Somewhere between the youthful energy of a teenager and the golden years of a woman’s life, there lives a marvelous and loving person known as “Mother.”

A mother is a curious mixture of patience, kindness, understanding, discipline, industriousness, purity and love.

A mother can be at one and the same time, both “lovelorn counselor” to a heartsick daughter and “head football coach” to an athletic son.

A mother can sew the tiniest stitch in the material for that dainty prom dress and she is equally experienced in threading through the heaviest traffic in a station wagon.

A mother is the only creature on earth who can cry when she’s happy, laugh when she’s heartbroken, and work when she’s feeling ill.

A mother is as gentle as a lamb and as strong as a giant. Only a mother can appear so weak and helpless and yet be the same one who puts the fruit cover on so tightly even dad can’t get it off.

A mother is a picture of helplessness when Dad is near, and a marvel of resourcefulness when she’s all alone.

A mother has the angelic voice of a member in the celestial choir as she sings Brahms lullaby to a babe held tight in her arms; yet this same voice can dwarf the sounds of an amplifier when she calls her boys in for supper.

A mother has the fascinating ability to be almost everywhere at once and she alone can somehow squeeze an enormous amount of living into an average day.

A mother is “old fashioned” to her teenager; just “Mom” to her third-grader; and simply “Mama” to little two-year old sister.

But there is no greater thrill in life, than to point to that wonderful woman and be able to say to all the world, “That’s my mother!”[1]

There is always something about mothers, really there is. There has always, even as we study history, we see there is a special place for mothers. Times can change and times do change, but people always need a mother and love their mother. A sad expression of this is when people cry out for their mother on the battlefield. A mother’s voice is the one you long to hear.

As an example, several years ago, when Mercedes was only about 18 months old Meagan and I went together to pick up Mercedes from the babysitter. We went to the babysitter walked in the door and Mercedes ran and gave Meagan a big hug. I waited and Mercedes didn’t give me a hug. Mercedes loved and loves her mom. There is a special place for mothers. Let me also say that there is a special place for those that serve in a maternal role. There are many who never have biological children but mother other children all the same.

In the Bible we do see the idea of taking care of our mothers. Certainly, in the Old Testament we see the commandment to honor our father and our mother in Exodus 20:12. But then we also see the passage which we will look at today. Let me read John 19:26-27

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.

  1. The passage:
    • In context Jesus is on the cross. He has been beaten beyond recognition and now He is dying on the cross.
    • Jesus is probably gasping for air and struggling to breathe, yet he makes this statement.
    • I wonder what it was like for His mother to watch her son on the cross. This fulfilled Simeon’s prophesy in Luke 2:35: …(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
    • Here He is naked, beaten and dying. This is the boy she raised.
    • Jesus looks down on her. I wonder what it was like for Him to see His mother. Was she grieving? Was she crying? How did that make Him feel?
    • Jesus did feel the need to provide for her.
    • He saw the disciple whom He loved, likely John, and gave a command.
    • Verse 27 says that this disciple did take her in. There was no arguing. This disciple took care of Jesus’ mother.
    • Notice that there are four women at the foot of the cross and one of them is likely the beloved disciple’s mother and the beloved disciple is likely Jesus’ cousin. It says, “his mother’s sister,” possibly Salome, who was the Mother of James and John, Then, it says, “the wife of Cleophas,” “Mary the wife of Cleophas;” and this was possibly Mary’s sister‑in‑law so that you have a family there. Then you have one outsider, Mary Magdalene, Mary from Magdala. Christ had cast seven demons from her (This comes from verse 25).
    • Notice that the beloved disciple is the only disciple who was there. The rest fled. Know that men have no market on courage. In this case the women are way more courageous.
  2. Now let’s apply this idea of taking care of your mother:
    • Taking care of your mother. Jesus makes sure that His mother’s needs are provided for. We also must provide for the needs of others. Today we focus on mothers and those who fill a maternal role in our lives.   
    • When I was a child, we spent many, many, many weekends as my father took care of his mother’s needs. My dad’s father died when I was very young, and my dad’s brother and sisters lived a distance away. So, my dad took care of his mother’s needs. I remember many weekends cutting grass or watching my dad cut grass at her house. My dad repeatedly replaced plumbing and repaired electrical work at her house. He was always fixing her car. He fixed the flooring over there. He helped her with decision making as well. Then when she had to have a hip replacement, she moved in with us for a while. She didn’t want to impose, but my parents, both of them actually, prepared a room for her and she stayed with us. This was all the more important to me because my dad was physically, verbally, and emotionally abused as a child, yet he still took care of her needs. After she recovered from the hip replacement, she still lived with us off and on throughout the year. Later on my grandmother died when I was in tenth grade of high school and that was the only time I saw my dad cry. He was taking me to work and he told me that her death had been hard on him. He further said that over the last few years he realized how much his mother regretted the pain of his upbringing.  
    • I think the Bible affirms, and this statement by Jesus affirms, the need to take care of other maternal influences. We have other maternal influences in our lives. These could be our mother-in-law or a scout leader. They could be pastors or youth pastors. These could be Sunday school teachers or childcare workers.  These could be older sisters or many others. Jesus told John to care for His mother. I wonder if Jesus’ mother could have been like a mother to John or some of the other disciples.
    • I am sure that you have similar stories. We do this because of our love for them.
    • In like manner, many of you have been or are care givers for your elderly parents. You do this because they have meant so much to you.
  3. I believe that Jesus making sure that His mother was taken care of is also showing us that it is important to take care of the needs of others, even if they are not our mother or maternal influence. In Jesus’ dying moment He cares for His mother.
    • My mother was one, and is one, who is also caring for others. She now works in a childcare center at a church. Growing up she always babysat for children in our home. She would make an excellent caregiver because she has a huge heart of compassion. I talk about my dad’s care for his mother, and I have to say it is matched by mom’s care for all people.
      • I remember not having a book properly covered in school. I was in the seventh grade and the teacher called my mom from school. I thought I would be so punished. But really I got home and my mom was ready to help me cover the book properly.
      • I remember having a headache as I forgot my glasses when I was in first grade. I never called my mom but somehow she realized that my glasses were at home and soon she showed up with my glasses.
      • I remember forgetting gym clothes and having to write sentences. I actually didn’t forget them, they were taken from my locker, but regardless I had to write sentences. My mom watched me write sentences and I could tell how bad she felt as I wrote sentence after sentence about remembering gym clothes. Yet, she did not call the teacher and complain about discipline.
      • I remember getting stitches countless times and my mom and my dad took me to the hospital.
      • I remember the sadness when I went away to college. I was the first to go eight hours from home to college and my mom was so very sad.

The following is a list of “I owe you’s” which apply to mothers all over the country, all of which are long overdue. Stop after each one and consider the priceless value of the one who made your life possible—your mother.

Dear Mom:

As I walk through my museum of memories,

I owe you– for your time. Day and night.

I owe you—for your example. Consistent and dependable.

I owe you—for your support. Stimulating and challenging.

I owe you– for your humor. Sparky and quick.

I owe you—for your counsel. Wise and quiet.

I owe you—for your humility. Genuine and gracious.

I owe you—for your hospitality. Smiling and warm.  

I owe you—for your insight. Keen and honest.

I owe you– for your flexibility. Patient and joyful.

I owe you—for your sacrifices. Numerous and quickly forgotten.

I owe you—for your faith. Solid and sure.

I owe you—for your hope. ­Ceaseless and indestructible.

I owe you—for your love. Devoted and deep. [2] 

A cartoon shows a three-year-old, freckle-faced boy in a hallway. His pajamas are unsnapped, his diaper’s bagging, and he’s got a little teddy bear, dangling in his hand. He’s standing in front of his mother and father’s bedroom door, which is shut. On the door is a little sign written by a weary mother: “Closed for business. Motherhood Out of Order.[3]

I have heard a mother’s work is never done and Jesus instructs us to take care of our mother. We have this instruction in the idea that Jesus made sure His mother was taken care of. So, I hope today you are being thanked for your maternal role. I hope today you are able to recognize a mother or someone else for their role in your life.

Jesus made sure his mother was taken care of. This mother’s day take care of your mother. Take care of your children’s mother and encourage others to take care of their mother.

I do realize that this may be a sad mother’s day for you, for your mother has gone to be with the Lord. I encourage you to reflect and maybe even write in a journal about all your mother passed on to you.

Also, you may have had other maternal roles in your life—a grandmother, an aunt, a family friend or teacher. God uses many more people to pass on faith to children and young adults as they grow up. If you can thank them as well and thank God for mothers.

[1] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 395. He references Fred Kruse.

[2] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 396. (From his book: Strong Family)

[3] Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Page 397. (From his book: Laugh Again.

Life in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-11)

Life in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-11)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2, 2021

I read the following:

One of the more humorous quirks of scientific history is the debate over who should get the

credit for discovering oxygen. Joseph Priestley, an English scientist and clergyman, is often

given that honor because he was the first to publish his findings, doing so in 1774. Interestingly,

Priestley originally called the gas, “dephlogisticated [de-phlo-gis-ti-cat-ed] air.”

However, in 1772, two years prior to Priestly’s find, a Swedish chemist named Carl Scheele

independently discovered the gas that is so crucial to human existence. Strangely enough, the

term oxygen didn’t actually come into use until 1775, when yet another chemist, Frenchman

Antoine Lavoisier (La voi ze), discovered and named the gas we breathe. Lavoisier was also the

first to recognize oxygen as one of our natural elements.

Regardless of who gets the credit, it’s odd to think of a human being “discovering” oxygen. What

did we breathe before this important discovery? Does a fish discover water? The truth is that

oxygen literally surrounds us every day, and even if we choose to call it “dephlogisticated air,”

we can’t live without it.

Well, friends in Christ, the same is true of the Holy Spirit.

As Christians we have new life, we have life in the Holy Spirit. That is our focus today.

My theme and application today is:

We are NOT under condemnation if we are in Christ Jesus, we must set our minds on the things of the Spirit.

We are going to walk through Romans 8:1-11:

The New American Commentary shares the following:

With chap. 8 we arrive at what may be called the inspirational highlight of the Book of Romans. Here the apostle is swept along in a wave of spiritual exaltation that begins with God’s provision of the Spirit for victory over the old nature, breaks through the sufferings that mark our present existence, and crests with a doxology of praise to the unfathomable love of God revealed in Christ Jesus. Nowhere in the annals of sacred literature do we find anything to match the power and beauty of this remarkable paean of praise. Although the pinnacle of this exalted prose awaits our arrival at vv. 28–39, the earlier sections provide the setting against which the culminating truths will break forth with an even greater brilliance. We are not dealing here with mere theology. As Paul wrote, his pen gave evidence that he was caught up in an experience of profound worship and spiritual adoration.[1]

  1. The Believers’ relationship to the Holy Spirit (verses 1-4).
    • No condemnation (verse 1): There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    • Remember the context, remember chapter 7.
    • In chapter 7 Paul wrote about how we cannot keep the Law. In verse 6 Paul wrote about how the Law exposes our sin. In chapter 7 Paul wrote about how there is a war between the two natures. There is a war between the flesh and the Spirit. I made the case that Paul was writing about either his pre-saved self or writing as a Jewish non-believer.
    • This verse now says there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. The verdict is delivered, and we are NOT condemned. That is the past, the trial is over. “On the sole basis of Christ’s righteousness imputed, then a reversal of the court’s verdict is impossible.”[2]
    • The next few verses build on this idea.
    • Verse 2 gives the contrast between the Law of the Spirit and the Old Testament Law. The Law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Verse 2 reads: For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
    • This is why there is no condemnation. Jesus took our condemnation on the cross.
    • God never intended us to go it on our own. Did not Jesus say, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)?[3]
    • Verse 3 builds on this idea.
    • Verses 3-4: God did what the Law could not do. Verses 3-4 reads: For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
    • One could restate the logic this way: Christ accomplished for us the condemnation that the law demands so that he might accomplish in us the sanctification that the law commands. The key phrase for our purpose is the phrase “so that,” or “in order that.” When God put Christ in our condemned place, he did this not only to secure heaven, but to secure holiness. Or even more precisely, not only to secure our life in paradise, but also to secure our love for people.[4]
    • The Spirit is mentioned only in 1:4; 2:29; 5:5, and 7:6, but is mentioned 19 times in chap. 8.[5]
    • He frees us from sin and death (vv. 2, 3); enables us to fulfill God’s law (v. 4); changes our nature and grants us strength for victory over our unredeemed flesh (vv. 5–13); confirms our adoption as God’s children (vv. 14–16); and guarantees our ultimate glory (vv. 17–30).[6]
  2. The Holy Spirit dwells in you (verses 5-11).
    • In verses 5-8 we see the contrast of those according to the flesh versus those according to the Spirit. Verse 5 reads: For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
    • According to the flesh means the fallen, sinful nature. If we are not in Christ, if we do not know Christ, we set our minds on the things of the world.
    • However, if we know Christ, if we live with Him (John 15), if we live according to the Spirit, we set our minds on the things of God.
    • Verse 6 continues the contrast: For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
    • We are to “set our minds” on the things of the Holy Spirit. This is partnering with the Holy Spirit to let Him work within us (Phil 2:12-13). To set the mind on the flesh means to think continually about and constantly desire the things characteristic of fallen, sinful human nature, that is, to think just the way the unbelieving world thinks, emphasizing what it thinks important, pursuing what it pursues, in disregard of God’s will.[7]
    • We receive life and peace by being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. This means peace with God, reconciliation with God.
    • How is the mind set on the flesh death? Verses 7-8 answer this.
    • Then verses 7-8 shows that the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God. The mind set on the flesh does not submit to God’s law AND IT CANNOT. Verses 7-8 reads: For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    • This is because the mind set on the flesh is focusing on the fallen, depraved things. One could go further that we have eternal death without being regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
    • Notice when in the flesh we CANNOT please God. We must be born-again. We must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
    • Verses 9-11 are all about how the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Verses 9-11 reads: You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
    • Notice the pointedness of verse 9: YOU, however, are NOT in the flesh…
    • You are in the Spirit.
    • That is, if the Spirit of God dwells in you.
    • This means that if we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
    • If you do not have the Spirit of Christ, you do not belong to Him.
    • Notice how Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ are used interchangeably. ESV Study Bible: By definition, Christians are not in the flesh, for all who believe in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Paul alternates between the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ here, showing that Christ and God share the same status.[8]
    • Verse 10: But if Christ is in you the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is alive because of righteousness.
    • Verse 11 is powerful, “if…” this is assuming you are saved. If the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He, who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies. How? Through His Spirit who dwells in you.
    • The Holy Spirit Who raised Jesus is in you. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. Powerful!
    • The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and He will also raise us.
    • Who raised Jesus from the dead: All three members of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were involved in the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection is individually ascribed to each one of them.[9]
  3. Applications:
    • We must be encouraged that we do not live under condemnation (verse 1).
    • We must be encouraged that Jesus did what we could not do on our own (verses 2-3).
    • We must give thanks to the Lord and worship the Lord and serve the Lord for His awesome free gift.
    • We must set our minds on the things of the Spirit (verse 5; also Galatians 5:22-23).
    • We must understand that when our mind is set on the Spirit we have life, real life, abundant life, eternal life, and peace, that is, peace with God (verse 6).
    • We must understand that the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God (verses 7-8).
    • We must understand the dichotomy between God’s ways and the ways of the flesh (verses 7-8 and James 4:4).
    • We must understand that if we are in Christ we have the Spirit of God in us (verse 9). We must worship God for this awesome truth and walk by the Spirit.
    • Praise God that the Holy Spirit Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me! He will also resurrect my body.   

On the night of March 29, 1848, Niagara Falls completely and mysteriously stopped flowing. The estimated 500,000 gallons of water that customarily rushed over the falls stalled to a trickle. James Francis Macklem, a village justice of the peace in the Niagara area, wrote that he had witnessed the subsidence of the waters and the phenomenon of the Niagara running dry “caused great excitement in the neighborhood at the time.” 
To some, the mystery of this sudden “turning off” of the river seemed to be an ominous portent, and nightfall found most of the churches packed with people praying or talking in frightened voices about the end of the world. Fear grew into the proportions of panic. 
The cause of this unusual event began along the shores of Lake Erie near Buffalo. For several days, the wind had been blowing to the east over Lake Erie, driving much of its ice flow down river. Then the winds suddenly shifted to the west, driving the lake water west and causing the lake’s ice to break up and dam the river. The Niagara River ceased to flow for almost 30 hours until the ice shifted and the dam broke up. 

When we become cold towards Christ and do not let the Holy Spirit flow through our lives it can become disastrous. Has your love for Christ grown cold? Today in prayer, confess any sin to Christ and remember the love you had for Him when you first became a Christian. Walk with Him and do not let your love grow cold.


[1] Robert H. Mounce, Romans, vol. 27, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 173–174.

[2] Dr Michael Horton in “ For Calvinism”

[3] Robert H. Mounce, Romans, vol. 27, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 175.

[4] Piper, John. Providence (p. 590). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

chap. chapter

[5] Michael G. Vanlaningham, “Romans,” in The Moody Bible Commentary, ed. Michael A. Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014), 1756.

[6] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ro 8:2–30.

[7] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2170.

[8] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2170.