John, Near the Foot of the Cross

Jesus has been arrested, tried and sentenced to death.

Each of the gospel accounts mention the women gathered at the cross to witness the crucifixion of Jesus, either by name or as a group.  {Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49}.

However, none of the other gospels mention the disciples.

We know Judas is remorseful and commits suicide.

Peter is remorseful for denying Jesus.  He wanted to be close to Jesus and followed him, which brought three denials.  Peter is not at the foot of the cross when Jesus is crucified, but he is not far away either, because Jesus turned his head to look at him.  {Luke 22:61-62}

But, where were the other disciples? 

We’re not told. Except for John.

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. {John 19:25}

The women are standing by the cross.  They have seen the nails driven into Jesus hands and feet. They can hear his labored breathing.  They are present as he cried out to God and draws his last breath.

Among these women is Mary, his mother.

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!  {John 19:26}

John was with the women at the crucifixion

John is with Mary, standing there providing comfort to her and the other women while his own heart is breaking. 

In his last, unselfish act, before giving his life for all mankind, Jesus looks after his mother and makes sure she is provided for.

“He tenderly provides for his mother at his death. It is probable that Joseph, her husband, was long since dead, and that her son Jesus had supported her, and her relation to him had been her maintenance; and now that he was dying what would become of her? “ {Matthew Henry Commentary}

Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”   {John 19:27}

He saw her standing by, and knew her cares and griefs; and he saw John standing not far off, and so he settled a new relation between his beloved mother and his beloved disciple…He directs her to look upon John as her son:… sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, perhaps where we looked not for it.”  {Matthew Henry Commentary}

John was faithful to Jesus to the last and he bestowed a great honor upon his disciple.

“he confidence he reposed in the beloved disciple. It is to him he says, Behold thy mother, that is, I recommend her to thy care, be thou as a son to her to guide her (Isa. 51:18); and forsake her not when she is old, Prov. 23:22. Now, This was an honour put upon John, and a testimony both to his prudence and to his fidelity. If he who knows all things had not known that John loved him, he would not have made him his mother’s guardian. It is a great honour to be employed for Christ, and to be entrusted with any of his interest in the world.”   {Matthew Henry Commentary}

What or who has the Lord entrusted you to care for?

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