John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
I am certainly not the first person to be moved by the fact that Jesus provided for His mother’s care even while nailed to the cross. It is very interesting that He chose John as her caregiver, even though He had younger brothers who were just as much her children as He was. I think it was probably because His brothers weren’t there, and John was already one of His closest disciples. As far as we can tell, His brothers didn’t believe in Him until after His resurrection. John was best prepared to teach Mary what he had been hearing and learning from Jesus for the previous three years. Also, John is the one disciple who seemed to have no hesitation to be identified with Jesus even after Jesus was arrested. As we know from the expression he used in writing about himself, he had total assurance that Jesus loved him, and that was enough to overcome every other consideration. That’s the kind of person Jesus wanted taking care of Mary!
I was actually not given the opportunity to care for my parents in their later years, because my father died at 64 while still an active duty missionary, and my mother died at 72 in the US while I was in Japan. However, I have many senior adult friends, and I have many friends who are caring for their parents. Families are God’s idea, and they are a blessing even when they feel like a burden. I can’t have the empathy of personal experience when ministering to such families, but even so I can be a channel of God’s love, grace, and encouragement to them. I have a close friend, older than I am, actually, whose 94 year old mother seems likely to pass on within the next few days. I cannot carry his burden, but I can come alongside him in encouragement, especially since she is a believer. I need to help him understand on the emotional level that it’s a great blessing that we aren’t stuck on this earth forever!
Father, thank You for families. You certainly use them to shape and mature us! At each stage of my life I have learned new things from the family You’ve given me, and from those I see around me. Help me be the father and grandfather You want me to be, so that each of my descendants may be what You want them to be, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!