As we are near the end of Advent and also the end of this series on “Parenting Jesus,” here is the latest thought to share with you.
John 19:25-27 presents a tender scene in the midst of Calvary horror. Mary is standing near the foot of the cross. Her son would die soon, but she would have to go on living. The city of Jerusalem was in a turmoil. Angry mobs screamed for the blood of her son. This city was not a safe place for the mother of Jesus. She could not look to her other sons for solace; they didn’t yet believe in Jesus. Who would look after Jesus’ mother?
Jesus looked down from the cross. He saw his mother weeping. Hadn’t Mary taught him to obey God’s commands, and didn’t one of those laws say “honor your father and mother”? In Jewish culture, people expected the oldest son to take responsibility by caring for a widowed mother. Now, even in the midst of his own raging pain, Jesus paused to fulfill that command to honor his earthly mother. He asked the disciple John to take over the role of oldest son and take Mary into his home.
As the mother of Jesus, Mary clearly deserved great honor. Many parents today don’t appear to merit such respect yet God commands us – all of us – to honor our parents. He offers no loopholes for child abuse or exceptions for parental neglect. So how does a person honor a father or mother who fell far short of God’s standard of parenting? We do the same things Jesus did: We honor those parents by obeying God.
Have you lived your life in such a way that it honors God’s name and, thus by extension, your parents’ name? Have you taught those who follow you to do the same?