Monday in the Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 27:55-56, 61; Mark 15:40-41, 47; Luke 23:49, 55; John 19:25-27

Those Faithful Women

You will remember that Luke 8:1-3 mentions several women who followed Jesus and his disciples about, “who provided for them out of their means.”  Well, here we see women again – Matthew, Mark, and Luke record them “looking on from a distance,” while John mentions those at the foot of the cross.  (Mary Magdalene, who at first stood at a distance, moved to the cross by the time John mentions her.)  Their names vary in the gospels.  With the exception of the aforementioned Mary who appears in every list, the rest of those names are: Mary the mother of Joseph and James “the younger” (that being the other disciple named James), the mother of the sons of Zebedee (Salome), Mary the wife of Clopas, and Jesus’ own mother.  These were the women who followed all the way from Galilee and ministered unto him; and here they are at his crucifixion.  In fairness to the disciples who had scattered (with the exception of John), these women had nothing to lose by showing up; that is, the authorities would not be out to get them.  Still, their love for Jesus was such that they would have been there even if it had cost their lives.  Men are more prone to sacrifice their lives for soil, country, or a cause that grips them; women will sacrifice their lives for love, and that is what is on display here at the foot of the cross.

John focuses on our Lord’s mother.  As Joseph is no longer mentioned after Jesus’ boyhood three-day tour in the temple (Luke 2:41-52), we assume that Mary is widowed.  As Jesus did not begin his ministry until about age thirty (Luke 3:23), and as he was the oldest child, we may also assume that he stayed home in his twenties to support his mother and younger siblings running his late father’s carpentry shop.  No doubt, Jesus and his mother were as close as any mother and son could be, both for reasons of maternal and filial love, and because of his special calling to which Mary, of course, was privy.  At any rate, one can only imagine the torture her soul endured while looking on the son she loved, whom she bore as the Lord’s handmaid.  Jesus had a mission to fulfill that would procure Mary’s salvation as well as ours; but in that true humanity of his, it must have grieved him ever so much that the woman he was dying to save was the same woman who had lived her life for him, and, I’m sure, would have gladly traded places with him.  Mary had a difficult calling in life – to love the boy she would one day give away.  So Jesus sees to her care by committing her to John.

Christians belong to the Lord, including their children.  We must understand that our lives are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and that we are called to give one another up for Kingdom service.  May we be as obedient as Mary.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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