The Great Model of Filial Duty
John 19:26, 27
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold your son!…

The last hours of Jesus, as might be expected, were marked by a very deep feeling of the tie that bound him to his Father in heaven. The ruling motive was strong in death. But the human mother was equally remembered according to her claims and needs. Even in the midst of intense pain, and on the verge of death, Jesus thinks of everybody who ought to be thought of. The pain, intense as it is, will soon be over, but the Father in heaven will remain, with whom Jesus has to dwell in power and glory, and the mother on earth will remain, provided for through the ministry of a trusted friend. Jesus seems to have had a trying time with his relatives; well is it that this last glimpse is so beautiful.

I. CONTRAST WITH THE WAY IN WHICH THE RELATIVES OF JESUS TREATED HIM. This is the only transaction of Jesus with his kinsfolk in which he takes the initiative. Jesus had to guard himself from the plausible suggestions of those who felt they had a claim to shape or at least to modify his course. His difficulties in this way would begin long before he emerged into public life. We may be sure Jesus did not love opposition or contradiction for opposition's or contradiction's sake. But when his natural kinsfolk pointed one way, and his heavenly Father another, there could be no doubt in his own mind which way to take. And we must learn, as Jesus did, to make little of kindred as advisers, and yet remain loving and helpful to them as kindred. That a man is your father does not make him more competent to advise you; it may only make him more powerful to mislead and ruin you, if his advice is bad.

II. KINSFOLK MUST EVER BE TREATED AS KINSFOLK. The time comes when the claim of nature is recognized, and met all the better because other claims had to be refused before. If Jesus had listened to the expostulations of his kindred, he himself might have supported the old age of his mother, and soothed her dying pillow. But he did something far better. Whatever Mary may have lost in the natural, she had the chance of gaining far more in the spiritual. Mary was among the praying band in the upper room, waiting for Pentecost, and doubtless, when the Spirit of power came down, she would rejoice with exceeding gladness that her Son had gone on in single-hearted devotion to his Father's will. Jesus, therefore, is a great Example and Guide to us in all dealings with kinsfolk. In such dealings we peculiarly need an example and guide. He would not let his kinsfolk go beyond their rights, but all the time he was keenly observant of their claims. As we read of him providing a protector and son for his mother, we cannot but remember his indignant exposure of those who kept back helpful gifts from father and mother under pretence that they were dedicated to God. To please Christ we must both attend to the legitimate claim of natural kinship, and also we must be ready for the claim that comes upon the human friend. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

WEB: Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!"

Filial Love Strong in Death
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