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DEVOTIONAL: Jesus’ 7 Sayings From The Cross (3)

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

–John 19:26-27

On that dark day we now call Good Friday, as Jesus was hanging on the cross to die, he saw His mother Mary and His trusted disciple John standing there. Not thinking of his own agony, He thought of others, especially His mother. There is no mention of her husband Joseph, so it seems he had already passed away by that time.

Jesus told Mary that John was to serve the son-role in His absence, and John was to take care of Mary as his own mother and even took her into his home to care for her in her old age.

According to the Bible, God pays special attention to widows, because they have lost a key relationship. In today’s culture, nursing homes are a huge industry. Every family and situation is different, and some people need medical attention that cannot be provided by non-medical family members in the home. Also, since the Great Depression in the 1930s, many elderly have depended on social security and other government programs.

The Bible says that the church is to provide care for widows. And, if children or grandchildren are present, caring for elderly family members is primarily their responsibility.

In fact, the Bible goes so far as to claim, if someone claims to be religious but doesn’t care and provide for his family, he has “denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. (…) Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  (I Timothy 5:3-4,7-8 NIV)

As Jesus was dying on the cross, there is no evidence of a trace of self-pity or revenge. He was thinking of others… His mother Mary, and of you too!

As we approach Easter, have you accepted the love and acceptance of Jesus? And is there any family member you are to provide care for?

S.D.G./S.G.D.

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