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.

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