Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 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, the disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27
Our Scripture today illustrates love born of the sincere heart of a child. Jesus was truly God but also truly human, yet without sin. He knew how much Mary had to suffer. Only love allows one to understand the suffering of another. The love of Christ always burnt brightly, for the entire sinful world, but also is tenderness for His only family and especially for his mother. Christ’s last command concerned his mother. He forgot himself, his own needs, his own sorrow. Human love was an important priority in Jesus’ life. In his dying hour and in his sorrow, he took care of his mother. If anyone dare say that they are taking care of their parents, let them look up at the cross on Golgotha and remember Jesus’ example. Jesus was never more thankful, tender and sensitive than at that moment. He loved his own until the very end. Jesus had already saved the man on the cross next to him, he had already prayed for his enemies, but he did not forget his mother! Human bonds bring responsibilities, responsibilities that remain even after our death. Christ’s suffering and death make us very aware of this. And so on the cross on Golgotha connects the two richest words on earth: mother and Jesus!
Grace and Peace to You My Friens
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
Here we get to the heart and essence of the Christian religion. First there is Jesus’ amazing honesty. No one can say that they followed Jesus because of false promises he made. Jesus never tried to bribe people by offering them an easy path. He didn’t promise people, but glory. Telling someone to take up a cross is the same as telling them to die like a criminal.
Secondly, we find Jesus never demanded people to do what he wouldn’t do himself. This is the true character of a great leader of people. Thirdly, Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.” Simply and literally this means saying no to yourself and yes to Christ. You must say no to your own natural of love of comfort. You must say no to every path of self-love and selfish ambition. You must say no to all the instincts and desires that lure you to touch and taste forbidden things. You must answer Jesus’ voice and commands with an unmistakable yes. You must be able to say like Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) You don’t live to follow your own anymore, but to follow and obey Jesus’ will. One finds perfect freedom in this service.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22
It was a rabbinical doctrine that a person had to forgive their fellow man three times. They believed that God’s forgiveness covered three transgressions and that he punished the fourth. Peter, the rash disciple with his impulsive nature, answered his own questions by saying that we should forgive seven times. Peter expected Jesus to compliment him, but Jesus answered that the Christian should forgive seventy times seven. there is indeed no limit to the Christian’s forgiveness.
Jesus tells the story of a servant who was forgiven an enormous debt, yet soon afterwards he had no mercy on a fellow servant who owned him a much smaller debt. This message runs through the entire New Testament like a golden thread: You must forgive others to be forgiven yourself. Those who cannot forgive others dare not expect God’s forgiveness. Godly and human forgiveness must go hand in hand.
In Jesus’ story the fact that stands out in the size of the two people’s debt. The point Jesus is making here is that nothing we do can be compared to what humankind did to God. If God forgives us our sins, we must also forgive others. We were forgiven an enormous debt that we would never have been able to pay, because our sins brought about the death of the Son of the Living God. We can find mercy in God’s eyes only if we forgive others like God forgave us.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends