I greatly thank and praise GOD for the message I delivered yesterday during the Blessed Hope Christian Community Church Int’l GOOD FRIDAY service. I was not really the original messenger , but because one of our Elder went to an important out-of-town family gathering, I was compelled to take -over. It has been Ten years that I was not able to stand and give message in front of the congregation, so the feeling was indescribable. But the Holy Spirit moved in a mighty way, at first I was tensed but then later on, I felt God’s presence and words just came out easily. Here’s the outline of the message. Read on and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. John 19:25-27.
IN THESE WORDS WE SEE AN ACT OF COMPASSION AND LOVE
Woman, Behold Your Son… Behold Your Mother” doesn’t seem to compare to some of the heavier ones spoken by Jesus. At first glance it feels like a side note where Jesus is just taking care of some family matters. Yet, the more I studied it, I realize these are words that has real theological and practical significance for our lives.
Don’t you know that This was the only statement Jesus made that didn’t have to be said while on the cross.
“Father, Forgive them, they know now what they do.” Jesus was talking to the people who just put the spikes in His wrists.
“Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus was talking to the criminal who just asked for His forgiveness .
“I thirst.” not only as a statement of physical reality, but also in order to fulfill the Scripture. – Psalm 69
“Father, why have you forsaken me?” There is no other time in history this statement would have been applicable besides the cross.
“It is finished.” There is only one time that Jesus pays for the sin of the world. He will not do it again. This statement was absolutely unique to the cross.
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Jesus only died once. This comment had to be made on the cross.
Jesus could have done this the night before while in the Upper Room. He could have leaned over to John and asked him to take of His mother right there. He could have done it after he had risen from the grave. We all know that Jesus spent a couple of days with His disciples and Mary before He ascended to heaven.
So why did He choose to do it while on the cross? Jesus was revealing something to us. It’s a beautiful picture of how God actually loves us.
As He was shedding His blood for the sins of the world, He’s also showing us He’s not too busy, too tired or too distracted to care for one desperate widow who needs a place to sleep. Jesus intentionally chose this moment to demonstrate how big and wide his love for us.
This afternoon, let us be reminded the depth of God’s love for us. Are you suffering from an illness? Are you lonely? Are you struggling about someone, about your studies or job? Are your anxious about your future ? Remember, while paying for the sins of the world, He took the time to care for the ordinary, mundane, every day needs of a person He loved. cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
2. WORDS OF DELEGATION AND ADOPTION
At this point Mary is already a widow and so here, Jesus is calling his disciple John to take care of Mary on His behalf. BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER : It’s an act of delegating the responsibility on Jesus’ part to make sure that someone will fill his role in his absence. And we know John’s immediate response in Verse 27, “And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” BEHOLD YOUR SON. Jesus was also concerned about his friend John. Jesus can look into John’s eyes and see his fear and grief and pain and he wants to do something , so in compassion and love for John Jesus says to his mother Mary, “behold your son” .
So when Jesus looks down from the cross, these words creates a new family. Mary is now the new mother of John and John is the new son of Mary. This is basically adoption. Jesus is not calling them into some kind of superficial relationship of just being nice to one another. They were to take care of each other for the rest of their lives.
I think that this is still God’s word for all of us today. These should always be a part of the mission of the church. In Acts 2:43-47 – we see here are people committed to caring for one another no matter what is going on. What we see is a real family where people were willing to truly love one another where love is defined as a sacrificial action and not just a sentimental emotion.
The church, therefore, is not just a club where we hang out together every Wednesday and Sunday, but it is a family—a family where we are to care for one another just as John took care of Mary. As the church, we rejoice with those who rejoice and we weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). As Christians, we belong to each other. We should pray , care and be accountable with each other.
I have to be honest and say that the kind of family dynamics that Jesus instructed to Mary and John was difficult. Letting other people live with you in your homes isn’t the norm for us today. I have seen some examples that have been a blessing and inspiration to me. For those who didn’t know , Bishop Bong and Ate mila took into their homes some young people of this church . They did not only provided shelter , food , money but they loved them ….. nurtured them in the ways of the Lord and asked nothing in returned. I remember those days in 6th st Nazareth , where they have a total of 8 adopted sons living with them . These weren’t long term situations most of them became pastors like Ptr Eddie Cagampang, Ptr. Leonard Larossa, Ptr Richard Magnase, Ptr Bats Tunacao, Ptr Junie Paraiso and Ptr Paul Obedencio. I am not saying we should literally follow what they did , but what Bishop Bong and ate Mila did gave us all a glimpse of what kind of relationships Jesus calls us to develop. … what it means to be the family of God. And here at Blessed Hope , I see people reaching out to care for one another in very real ways. Someone died in this church, and instantly a coupled offered their paid-up memorial lot worth 30k so that the bereaved behalf will no longer think of where to finally lay the remains of his beloved wife. There are some here who have gone the extra mile and sacrificed their time and energy to care for people they have grown to love … these relationships, these spiritual families, reveal to us a glimpse of what the true family of God looks like.
I pray I could see more of this in our church, but honestly, I think some are afraid to do it. We are afraid of getting hurt. We are afraid of being taken advantage of ( and yes… I am guilty of these ) and sometimes we are afraid of asking for the help we know we need. I wondered what kind of fear Mary and John must have experienced when they looked at each other after Jesus said this word but what Mary and John did taught us that we can’t be afraid to reach out to build healthy and supportive relationships with those around us.
Who are here today that we might need to reach out and love? Who wants to be prayed of ? Please do not be shy…. We have intercessors in this church who are willing to pray for you. Are their students who needs tutors? or couples who need some advise ? If you are sick, please do not hesitate to call on the pastors or any leaders of this church. The young people already have their care group, I guess it’s high time now for our Ladies Circle and Men’s square to have care group too. Let’s start it in 2 or 3 groups.. I am sure this will spread and be materialized soon.
In SUMMARY :
“WOMAN, BEHOLD YOUR SON … BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER
Are words of REVELATION – revealing to us the magnitude of the love of Christ for us.That while hanging on the cross , suffering the physical torture , and the wrath of GOD, he took the the time to take care of Mary and John.. He will take time to take care of you and me too..
Are words of DIRECTION – that we should love one another. We are obliged to take care of each other as one family… one church.