Who are the people that stick with you no matter what happens?

For Christians, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ. Jesus came into this world as a Human being and had strong personal relationships with people. Two people were with him to the very end. With Christmas just around the corner, let me invite you to begin the Christmas season with the end in mind. Let’s focus our attention today on the end of Jesus’ life and see who is with Him.

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 7.38.02 PMJohn was called the “beloved disciple” and was with Jesus to the very end. He stood with Mary as she watched her son be crucified. He held her as only a close friend could. Perhaps Jesus loved John so much because He knew the future. Jesus knew from the beginning that John would care for his mother. Jesus knew John would do more for Mary than any family member in the end. John took on the responsibility of caring for Mary. John was trustworthy. Jesus trusted and loved him. Jesus wasn’t just any friend, He was the Son of God. Mary was not just any mother, she was Mary the mother of Christ. This was not just any situation. It involved a virgin birth, a miraculous life, and a cross. Allow me to take you into this landmark moment in history.

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 7.47.00 PMI wonder when Mary realized the fullness of who Jesus was. Mary was a willing servant of God who gave birth to the Messiah. But Mary did much more than just give birth. She raised Jesus as a boy, and she loved Him. Mary watched as her son grew into a man. Although Jesus had a short adulthood, it’s not how long you live but how you live that matters. Jesus lived an amazing life with the support of a loving mother. She was with Him all along the road of life. Mary had to watch her son walk down the road to the cross. She watched as her son submitted himself to the cross. More than anyone, Mary knew the power He had available to Him.

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 7.47.13 PMWhen Jesus was lifted up on the cross, Mary looked up at her son. John was there with her watching his friend die. I wonder how John prayed while he was holding Mary close. I wonder what John saw and felt as he experienced the crucifixion with Mary. I wonder how John felt as Jesus spoke from the cross. Jesus said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” We believe that Joseph had been dead for some time. Jesus also passed over his own brothers in entrusting this great responsibility. Jesus knew that they did not believe in Him. John 7:5 says, “For neither did his brethren believe in Him.”

How would you feel if Jesus told you to take care of his mother?

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 7.47.23 PMMary was there with John, the beloved follower, and friend. Mary was not alone as she watched her son take his last breath. She was not alone as she heard His last words. Jesus spoke and said to Mary, “Woman, behold your son.” But that was not all He said. Jesus turned and looked to his friend. He looked past Mary to John and said, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour, John took her to his own home. John took on the responsibility of caring for Mary. John was trustworthy. Jesus trusted and loved him. But before John took Mary to his home, they watched Jesus die.

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 7.47.28 PM John and Mary watched as the soldier took a spear and jabbed Jesus in the side. John’s Gospel includes details about Jesus’ crucifixion not recorded in any of the other three Gospels: “The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man who had been crucified with Him. But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He had already died, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.” John 19:32-34

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 7.47.32 PMIn the end, Mary held her dead son and John was there. He was with her. He saw her pain and he carried his own pain. The pain of loss and pain of the vicious and violent death of his friend. What John saw, what he experienced, changed him. He saw things that you and I can only imagine.

Who are the people that stick with you no matter what happens?