Here Is Your Son, Here Is Your Mother

Bible Book: John  19 : 16-27
Subject: Cross; Mary; John; Mother of Jesus; Faithfulness; Commitment
Series: Sayings of Jesus from the Cross

Here Is Your Son, Here is Your Mother

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

John 19:16-27

Jesus spoke seven times from the cross, three of which took place before darkness covered the sky, one during the darkness and three times after the darkness had departed. We come now to the third statement of Jesus from the cross and the one He spoke just before darkness covered the sun from view.

The third word from Jesus on the cross was spoken to His mother and to the Apostle John. Jesus told Mary to look upon John as her son and he told John to look upon Mary as his mother. The Bible tells us that John took Mary into his home from that hour and cared for her as his own mother.

It is interesting to notice the amazing combination of the deity and humanity in Christ. A good example of this is seen on the occasion of the time when Jesus was in the back of a ship asleep, because he was tired. He was awakened by the disciples because a storm had arisen. He awoke and spoke to the wind and waves, and He stilled the storm.

  • When he lay down to rest, He was a man
  • When He rose to still the storm, He was God

Again, we see Him in the strange blend in John 11. Jesus came to the tomb where Lazarus was buried, He wept, but a few moments later He told the people to move the stone from the grave site and He raised Lazarus from the dead.

When He wept, Jesus was revealing His human nature
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He revealed His divinity.

Sometimes this process is reversed. The divinity of Jesus is revealed and just after that His humanity shines forth. That is what happened in our text today. In His divinity, He gives eternal life to the dying thief, but then he turns in His humanity to show His concern for His mother.

Think with me today about the amazing moment on the cross when Jesus took notice of his mother and dealt with her need rather than thinking of his own need.

First we see …

I. The Master on the Cross

We begin by looking at the Master on the cross, and we note that there are two important facts presented in the third statement Jesus spoke while dying for our sins on the cross.

A. The Wonder of His Sinless Life

In the midst of the most awful suffering that any person could ever endure, Jesus stopped to remember His mother. This reveals His obedience to the Law of God. You see,  God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai and in the fifth Commandment He stated: "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

Jesus kept all of the Commandments, and He kept them all the time. In these horrible moments on the cross, He would not be guilty of committing a single sin. He obeyed the Law and honored His mother by making sure there was someone to care for her. The songwriter correctly penned,

"He had no tears for His own sins,
But sweat drops of blood for mine,
Oh, how marvelous, Oh, how wonderful,
Is my Savior's love for me."

The perfect, sinless Christ revealed the depth of His obedience to His heavenly Father with this third statement from the cross.

At times you will hear someone excuse their own sin by rehearsing the terrible experiences they faced at the time. In other words, a person will justify or defend his sin by claiming that stress weakened him and broke down his resistance. Jesus reveals that no amount of anxiety can be used as an excuse for sin, for no one ever faced a situation more stressful than that which Jesus faced on the cross. Even then, in those horrible moments, He never wavered in doing that which was godly, proper and holy.

Notice also …

B. The Wonder of His Selfless Life

In addition to seeing the wonder of His sinless life, we need to observe the wonder of the selfless life of our Lord. In a self-centered world, a world where each person seems to look out for himself or herself as the a priori of existence, Jesus created a glaring contrast. He was totally selfless while hanging on the cross in agony. He spent His energy obeying His Father and blessing people.

Then, in the end while dying, He still thought about others. He remembered those who crucified Him when He said, "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing." He remembered a dying thief when He said, "Today you will be with me in paradise." Now, He remembers His own mother saying, "Dear woman, here is your son." Think of it, three statements Jesus made from the cross spoke to someone else's need. Isn't that just like Jesus.

"Oh, how marvelous, Oh, how wonderful,
And my song shall always be,
Oh, how wonderful,
Oh, how marvelous,
Is my Savior's love for me."

All that Jesus did on that cross, He did for you. The pain, the suffering, the awful acceptance of sin into His very person, His rejection, His death, all for you - all for me! We see that in the manner in which He thought of His own mother while dying on the cross.

While looking at the Master on the cross, let’s consider …

II. The Mother at the Cross

We come now to the mother of Jesus at the cross. There were three Mary's at the cross. Mary, the mother of Cleopas was there. Also, Mary, out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons was also present. She was thankful for her release from the terrible oppression of Satan, and she would not leave Him now, even though it was terrible dangerous to be there. Then, there was Mary, the mother of Jesus. I want you to see three things about her relationship with our Lord.

A. Her Honorable Relationship

She was such an honorable woman. When the angel came to her and announced that she would conceive and give birth to the Son of God, he said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28) She was indeed highly favored among women. What an honor she gives to womanhood and motherhood, to stand by her Son at an hour more horrible than we can possibly imagine in our comfortable church today. She was honored and she was honorable.

Motherhood carries such an incredible responsibility, and every godly mother feels it. Godly mothers have a unique view of their children, for they see them as gifts from God. No matter how difficult the path a mother must trod, if she is living for the Lord, she will do her best for her children. She will pay any cost, bear any pain, and even accept any shame in order to be a true and faithful mother to her child or children. We see Mary here at the cross, watching as her son, the Son of God, suffers the most horrible death in history. She will not turn away to protect herself but stands by Him to the very end.

Think with me about …

B. Her Hurting Relationship

There is no way we can measure the hurt Mary must have felt that day. Surely her mind went back to the prophecy regarding Jesus. In Luke 2:21-35 we read, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. When the time of their purification, according to the Law of Moses, had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord’, and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons.’ Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.

When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’ The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: 'This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’”

At the cross, she knew full well what Simeon had meant when he said that a sword would pierce her too! There, at the foot of the cross, the sword prophesied cut her to the very heart. But the angel had predicted that Jesus would establish a kingdom, a kingdom that would be eternal. Now Jesus is dying. Where is the kingdom? The sword is piercing her heart and many questions must have filled her mind. But in the midst of this painful hour, her Son remembered her. What a comfort that must have been to her.

There is warm word here for everyone who is suffering today. Jesus doesn’t forget you. He is never too busy or preoccupied to forget your personal need. He sees your heart and knows your thoughts. The burden you feel like you bear alone, He is there to shoulder with you and for you. Be assured my friend, when you are hurting, He remembers you just as He remembered His mother.

But, notice also …

C. Her Human Relationship

There is something else in the words of Jesus which must be addressed. Jesus did not call Mary "Mother," rather he called her, "Woman." Why? It is believed that Jesus was revealing to Mary that He was dying, not as her Son but as her Savior. Her relationship to Him at that moment was not just as His mother, but rather was more importantly the same as all those who would believe in Him. She had to come to Him as a sinner needing a Savior just as you and I come to Him.

Interestingly, when we come to Acts, chapter 1, we see Mary with the other disciples waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. No doubt, she was there when the Spirit fell, and like the others she experienced the full joy of salvation in Jesus!

Some people have tried to make Mary a co-redeemer with Jesus. They see her as a mediator between humanity and God. There is no statement in the Bible that even comes close to viewing her in that way. In fact, the truth is, she is seen as having need of a Savior just like all the rest of us.

Remember what Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father but through me.” This includes Mary. The words of Jesus on the cross to His mother established an earthly separation between Himself and her, but it was meant to establish an eternal salvation relationship with her. Jesus was simply raising the level of the relationship to the spiritual and more important level than that which is human.

Let’s consider now …

III. The Man by the Cross

We come now to the man who stood by the cross. His name was John, who is known as the beloved disciple. He as well was spoken to by our Lord from the cross. Jesus gave him the duty of caring for Mary, as if she were his own mother. Some scholars believe that John removed Mary from the cross at that moment and that she was not present when our Lord expired. Whether she left the cross at that moment or later, she went home with John and he cared for her.

A. The Stand John Took

We see the incredible stand that John took as he stands by the cross with Mary. All the other disciples fled, fearing no doubt for their own lives. Three women are there, but as far as we know not another man who could be called a friend stood by our Lord on that day. John alone stood by the cross in honor of Jesus.

  • He stood in a minority. There was no one with him.
  • He stood in harm's way. He knew it might cost him his life.
  • He stood near enough that Jesus could speak personally to him.
  • He stood in support of Jesus' mother - caring for what Jesus cared for.

Can Jesus count on you - can He count on me? Will we stand for Him, even when we are in the minority, even when it may seem costly to us in personal relationships or business? Will we stay close enough to Him that He can speak to us in the midst of a loud, hateful world? These are good questions for us. John met the test, oh how wonderful it is for a disciple to stand faithful when Jesus needs him or her most.

Today, our Lord is looking for faithful people who are not afraid of what the world says about you. He is looking for those who will lean in so that He might give them instructions and comfort in this evil world. I pray that He can count on me, and that he can count on you, to stand with Him no matter the cost or the commission He may require of us.

Also, we see …

B. The Service John Accepted

John also completely, obediently, and immediately accepted the command of Jesus. He took Mary from that hour into his home. Tradition holds that John never left Jerusalem or entered into his wider ministry until Mary died. He kept the command of Jesus till the end. He went on to do many wonderful things for Christ, including writing a Gospel and three epistles, and then penned the Book of Revelation as a crowning event in his life. But of all that he did, this one act is very important. Why?

Because it came in direct obedience to a request from His Lord. No wonder John could be trusted to do many other great works and would be at one point the last person alive who had heard, touched and been in the presence of Jesus. Jesus could trust him because John trusted and obeyed Jesus.


As we think on the subject of the cross today, we must think of the subject of our faithfulness to Him. That is, after all, what we are seeing in the life of Mary and John. They were right there, where they were needed in the hour when Jesus needed them most. They were willing to endure the pain, sorrow and danger of that moment with the Lord. While others fled, they stood faithful. Can the Lord depend on us in that same manner? Can He speak to us of His will, even when they may interfere with our plans? Can He trust us to do whatever it takes to carry our His will and work?

The poet wrote the following words as if they were coming from Jesus to us:

"I have no hands but your hands, to do my work today.
I have no feet but your feet, to lead men in the way.
I have no tongue but your tongue, to tell them how I died,
I have no help but your help, to bring men to my side!"

Now is the time for us to take our stand in this world as His ambassadors – and His servants - whatever the cost.