When Jesus saw his mother the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19: 26-27)
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if just one of the Gospels had been written by a woman? It can be a little frustrating sometimes that all the stories that involve Jesus’ interactions with women seem to be the shortest and most abrupt accounts. It is a perspective we must imagine for ourselves. This story, then, is all the more moving because there are so few of them. At the time of this event, Jesus has been hanging on the cross for hours, and this is one of the last things he does. He sees his mother standing there, watching him suffer, and he turns to her and tells her that “the disciple whom he loved” is now her son. Then he turns to the disciple and tells him that Mary is now his mother. According to John’s account, from that hour on, Mary lived with and was taken care of by the disciple.
Jesus’ last act of human compassion is to see that his mother will be cared for. Despite his own agony, his last thoughts as a human being are of his concern for the woman who has given him birth. Even though there are few stories like it in the Gospels, this speaks volumes about Jesus’ compassion for others and his respect for women.
Wondering: What can we learn from Jesus as we walk with him on the last days of his earthly journey?