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Meditate On This!

Bert Reynolds
Jesus utters 7 different phrases from the cross. Some of them are iconic. "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" "Into your hands I commend my Spirit."
 
But it's John's gospel that gives us a very human picture. In 19:28 Jesus says, "I am thirsty." It's a part of fulfilling scripture, John tells us, but it's also a glimpse into his humanity. The one who turned water into the best wine imaginable in John 2 is given wine vinegar to drink in his time of thirst (Wine vinegar is the cheap, common swill drunk by the soldiers).
 
A few verses earlier we get this: "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, 'here is your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her into his home" (Jn. 19:26-27).
 
Extraordinary! This exchange suggests that Joseph is probably deceased by now. Further, in John 7:5 we are told that Jesus' brothers didn't believe in him. It's likely they've abandoned him as well. Mary then is left alone and as a widow at that time, that's a vulnerable position to be in. So Jesus places Mary in the care of John.
 
From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus was not going to be swayed from his mission that ended with the cross, not even by his family. But even on the cross Jesus knew that a key part of his mission and ministry was his family. The world needed him. So did his mom.
 
God's calling comes first. As important as family is, when we place family before God, it is idolatry. However, if we seek first the kingdom, it should mean we become better parents, more loving sons and daughters, more sacrificial husbands and wives.

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