Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results
©Michael Player

Chapter 19:25-27 (ESV)

Posted on September 25, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 19:25-27 (ESV) - So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Question to consider: Who prophesied this moment of anguish for Mary the mother of Jesus?

In John’s description of the events surrounding the cross, he gave three different perspectives. A couple of days ago, John described it from the perspective of the Jews who saw the crucifixion as evidence of God’s curse upon Jesus. Yesterday, he described the cross from the perspective of the Gentiles who saw Jesus as just another criminal who didn’t need His belongings any more. Today’s passage focuses on the faithful women who stood by the cross and witnessed the horror of what Jesus endured to pay for our sins.

When Jesus was dedicated in the temple, Mary and Joseph had an encounter with an old man named Simeon who recognized that Jesus would be the consolation of Israel, reconciling the world to God. With this came the realization that His mother would have to experience heart-wrenching pain in seeing this take place. He had said to Mary, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)

There is much debate about whether “his mother’s sister” is a description of Mary the wife of Clopas or an unnamed fourth woman. I’m not a Greek scholar, but apparently it is difficult from the Greek to think the sister refers to an unnamed fourth person. I’m not going to speak to that here, but those who do consider the sister as an unnamed fourth person look at Mark and Matthew to determine that it was Salome, the wife of Zebedee. Personally, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me for Mary to have a sister also named Mary, but Mary is derived from the Hebrew Miriam so it would have been popular since it was the name of the sister of Moses.

If the disciple whom Jesus loved is indeed the apostle John, it would make sense that he was there with his mother and aunt. One could also make a case for it being Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus given that neither would be questioned by the chief priests for being there, and both were older and would have had homes for Mary to live. However, John was still a young man and could care for Mary the rest of her life, and he was one of the three cherished disciples who was with Jesus at His transfiguration. It is also quite possible that “another disciple” in John 18:15 and “the disciple whom Jesus loved” from today’s passage are two different people. 

As much as I wish that we could know for sure, it’s one of those things that is fun to speculate but should not take away from the main point of this passage. Even while bearing the weight of our sin on the cross, Jesus loved and honored His mother so much that He made sure she received the care she needed.


Dear Lord, thank You for the care You have shown to Your mother, Your disciples, and all of us who belong to You. May we also have the desire to faithfully love and care for our brothers and sisters in Your church. Amen.