By Warren Coe
Several weeks ago we began a discussion on the last seven words Jesus spoke from the cross before his death. During his hours of great suffering on cross, Jesus spoke seven times.
- These utterances have fascinated the Christian church thru the ages.
- Other than John 3:16 more sermon have been preached on these seven words than
- Year after year churches of all denominations feature them during Lent season.
Why this intense interest in the words of our dying Savior?
1st, the last words of a dying man can often reveal a lot about the character of the man.
- Napoleon, I die before my time, & my body will be given back to earth. What an abyss, my deep misery & the eternal kingdom of Christ.
- Voltaire, French infidel cried out, I am abandoned by God & man! I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months of life.
- But when Jesus died, he asked forgiveness, granted eternal life to a thief.
2nd reason we're drawn to these words is they show Jesus's clear & alert mind even at end. He is thoughtful. He is prayerful. He is conscious of great sacrifice
- 3rdly, we see in these words, the very heart of the Christian faith. - Dr. Bodey, "If all we had were these seven words, we could discover essence of Christianity". We love these words of Jesus for the comprehensive truth they teach
1. We began our study in Luke 23:34 when on the cross Jesus said, Father forgive them On behalf of those who crucified Jesus, our Lord prayed for their forgiveness.
- Malice, bitterness, wrath and revenge were absent from the heart of our Lord.
- He Looked upon soldiers & you and I with eyes & heart of forgiveness.
- We decided that Jesus serves as model for all who've been hurt or abused.
2. Then we took up the 2nd statement of Jesus Christ when he turns to the repentant thief & says, "Today, thou shall be with me in paradise..".
- Just as in his earthly ministry in where Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
- Jesus continued his work even on the cross in the last moments of his life.
- And today he is seeking unsaved to give them eternal life.
3. This morning we take up Jesus 3rd statement at Calvary. It is found in passage just read in John 19:25-27. Jesus says to Mary, Woman behold your son; Behold.
- We discover 3 lessons every adult child with aging parents must learn.
- That God places upon every adult child important responsibilities for our parents.
- In his dying words, he tells us how to care for our elderly mom & dad.
I. CARE FOR PARENTS IN SPITE OF PERSONAL SUFFERING V25
1. Its clear from John 19:26 Jesus is making provisions for mom so that when Jesus is dead, she'll be cared for. Mary is widowed. Joseph most probably died when Jesus was a teen.
- She is probably around 50 yrs of age with little or no personal income.
- Mary was dependent upon Jesus, her oldest son.
- After Joseph died, it was Jesus responsibility to provide for Mary & siblings
2. But that will be ending. Jesus will be dead soon. As oldest son he must make provisions for mother. He cares for mom in spite of personal suffering.
- Luke at verse 25. Jesus' enormous sufferings are revealed. 1st soldiers who crucified are gambling for clothes. 2nd those who loved him most stand near by. Watching loved ones watch you die is painful experience as you see their pain.
3. Jesus is undergoing tremendous physical & sp sufferings as result of the cross; there is physical pain of crucifixion & spiritual pain of bearing world's sins.
- In spite of personal sufferings, Jesus finds a way to help his defenseless mom.
- A mom's love is a great thing but Jesus' love for mom exceeds even a mother's love.
- We easily excuse ourselves from helping when sick.
4. It's never the right time for parent's health to decline or finances leave them impoverished. We often feel we aren't in the best position to help.
- Jesus teaches from the cross the essence of Christianity with his love for others, parents, etc.
- This love is costly. It is sacrificial. It gives in the face of personal suffering.
- I hope you have a plan of how you will help your parents when they need care?
The 1st lesson Jesus teaches is we must care for parents in spite of personal suffering
II. OBEY GOD'S 4TH COMMAND REGARDLESS OF FEELINGS V26
1. This brings us to 2nd lesson we learn from Jesus' words, Woman, behold you son We are to obey God's 4th command regardless of the feelings. This Lesson is radical.
- In telling mother that John would care for her; then telling John to care for her
- John was obeying God's 4th commandment of the 10 commandments.
- What is 4th commandment? Turn to Ex20:12. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Honor means to give great respect, or to esteem as superior.
2. There are two interesting features about God's 4th commandment.
- 1st, there are no conditions given in command to honor; like if they are perfect parents or if only they do nice things, etc. Even bad parents deserve respect/honor
- 2nd, of the 10c only the 4th comes with a promise. "That your Days may be prolonged".
- God intends to give life and blessing to those who honor their parents.
3. Our Lord models a child's relationship with his/her parents by placing his mother under John's care. We are to honor our parents in spite of feelings.
- It was an act of Jesus' submission to God's will he exercised his last duty as Mary's son
- As in earthly ministry, here on cross, Jesus shows fidelity & obedience to Law
- He was always conscious of keeping & fulfilling the entire law of God in the Old Testament. Here are specific ways to obey the 4th commandment: Write. Call. Visit. Help. Assist. Do what is best.
4. Some have wondered if Jesus was truly respectful given way he addressed his mom when he called her Woman. Another time he did this is at wedding in Canaan when...
- Bible teachers have grappled with this salutation & concluded no disrespect
- When Jesus uses it he reminds Mary of new relationship with himself. Savior!
- With highest respect & love, Jesus entrusts his mother into John's care & home.
Obeying God's 4th commandment is an act of will; God promises to bless us when we love and respect our parents
III. ENLIST THE HELP OF THE FAMILY OF GOD V27
1. Now the next lesson takes a bit of thought to discover. Like a vein of gold in a mine, it must be dug out. Look closely V27. After speaking to mom, who does Jesus address?
- It says Jesus spoke to his disciple. Do you find this peculiar? Go back to 1st Century.
- In Jewish culture as in many ancient cultures if husband dies, then 1st born becomes head of family. If 1st born dies, then 2nd oldest male is in charge.
2. Bible tells us Jesus had several brothers & sisters. Mark 6:3. These were the same who thought Jesus was mad & tried to commit him. By rights James should look after mom
- Bible seems to indicate that none of these siblings could be found near cross
- We are told that Mary the mother, Mary wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene. & John we at the cross.
- Why did Jesus commit mother to John's care & not James his brother? Not absence
3. This is going to blow your mind. Jesus conceived of a new community, the body of Christ, the church where a new command would be followed; that you love one another John 13:34
- Not that the family of God would eradicate nuclear family
- But in church of Jesus Christ, the nuclear family exists within context of body of Christ.
- The Heresy of Mary being mother of all Christians is not taught. Mary is in care of John & the church
4. In the same way John was commanded to look after Jesus' mother, we are commanded to look after each other & our families. This makes us radical in world's eyes.
- Mariano Di Gangi,
Our Lord brings into being the brotherhood of believers. He fashions the fellowship of the household of faith. This is the new society, which is not segregated according to race, nationality. It is not predicated upon social standing or economic power. It consists of those whose faith meets at the cross & whose experience of forgiveness flows form the cross.
1. We have given careful thought to the words of our dying Lord. With the burden of physical pain & his infinite suffering for sin, Jesus speaks to his mom, to John & us
- To his mother he said, Woman, behold your son. To John, Behold, mother.
- In this last will & testament Jesus does more than provide for his mother,
- He gives us a legacy of lessons on how we are to treat our aging parents.
2. We learn from Jesus' words, Care for parents in spite of personal suffering. As Christ tended to mom's needs though suffering, we are to care for our parents
- Obey God's 4th commandment regardless of feelings. Obedience is a matter of mind
- Our parents in their need is our concern & responsibility so obey the 4th
- Enlist help of family of God. Jesus entrusted mom to John, not brothers and sisters; but to church & family.
3. The place of Calvary where Christ purchased our redemption was also a place to teach us about the responsibilities children have toward their parents.
- That salvation is more than restoring our relationship with God, the Father,
- And more than pie-in-the-sky in the sweet bye-bye. But it is practical.
- It's about parents & children and how adult children are to love mom/dad.
4. One of the most effective ways we communicate the life-changing power of Jesus Christ is in the way we treat our parents. If I can be so bold
- How we treat parents tells something about true nature of our relationship with the Lord
- If I brag about being a follower of Jesus but disrespect my parents, I'm hot air.
- But if I love my parents as Jesus loved his parents, then I probably have real deal.