Not too busy
Not too busy
Words of Faith 3-24-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  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.
As John described the horror of the cross, there was a tender moment forever burned into his memory. There were a few words that John could never possibly forget as his best friend, and Lord, commended the care of His mother to him. "Here is your mother."
John names four women who were present at the cross with him. It is interesting that while all of the disciples scattered except one, these women remained at the scene of the cross. It may have been less dangerous for the women to remain, but certainly no less horrifying. All of these women had been among the very loyal followers of Jesus.
The anguish and terror of Jesus' mother as she watched the Crucifixion must have been indescribable. Jesus’ tender concern for her in the very hour of His agony revealed His true humanity and compassion.
Jesus probably commended His mother to John's care because none of His brothers was present. It is likely that John then removed Mary from the scene, perhaps to the care of others, and then returned to the cross. John resumes his narrative at the close of the Crucifixion. John’s temporary absence may account for the omission of some of the details found in the other Gospels, including Jesus' dialogue with the criminals who were crucified with him. Mary must have remained in Jerusalem for a time since she was present at the session of prayer that preceded Pentecost.
Jesus’ commending of the care of His mother to John is a powerful image. It tells us that while Jesus was facing the most overwhelming task in all of history, He did not forget those closest to Him. He may have been literally saving the whole world but He did not forget the safety of this one. He did not forget His human family. He did not forget His responsibility as eldest son. He did not forget those human ties most tender and dear.
This might have been a point of misunderstanding. Jesus had used the example of family as a point of comparison to emphasize our utter devotion to God and our commitment to the family of God. We recall that Jesus said, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). He also said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:46-50).
But while Jesus clearly set the love of God as the highest priority and the family of God as one as precious as blood, Jesus never intended that we neglect our earthly families. The honoring of father and mother were deeply imbedded in fabric of Jewish life as God intended. We are to love family deeply. We are to love God more. We are to honor God most of all. We show that honor when we honor family.
Sadly, one of the greatest dangers in the life of Christian ministry is the neglect of family. We often confuse “loving God above all” for being busy in church and ministry. “Church” and “God” are not the same even though, hopefully, they are very related. Many a gifted minister or Christian worker has “achieved” great things for the Kingdom but only at great cost to his or her family. This scene reminds us that Jesus never forgot His family. Jesus never neglected His mother. Even in the face of death, and in the midst of the greatest act of ministry in all of history, Jesus remembered to care for His mother.
Have you been too busy for the Lord to care for the family entrusted to you? Have you been so busy working for the Lord that you have neglected the tender ties of family? Pray for the Lord to set firmly in your life His priorities that will truly honor Him.
Lord, thank You for the precious ties of family. Thank You for this image that reminds me of the high priority of family. Give me the wisdom to set the priorities of time and energy so as to honor You above all and care for my family in ways that reflect that honor. In Jesus’ name.
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