Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Love Story

with a twist.

John 19:25–27

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Of all the powerful moments in the Bible, this has got to be one of the most gut-wrenching. Who can imagine Mary’s pain as she watches her son being tortured to death?

Yes, she’s spiritually mature. Yes, she understands God’s absolute power and the majesty of His agenda (far more than most of us ever could). She might even have specific insight into the purpose of what she’s witnessing.

Still, her suffering is beyond description.

This makes Jesus’s assigning her to John all the more significant. This ministry to her began from that hour.

She needed it.

The gospel is, first and foremost, a love story. God’s love drives everything that happens.

“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” — John 17:26

But we sometimes miss the “little” love stories that are all over the New Testament. Jesus, in His agony, manages to set one of them up. He gives mom to John.

Here, that same John records, simply, “And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

John could have written books about his relationship with Mary. Instead, we get one sentence—one that speaks volumes. In that age, widows needed to be cared for, typically by their children. Jesus was concerned for her wellbeing. His assigning her to John was deliberate and significant.

But that hints at a related issue. Why did John refer to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved?”

Sure, John was in Jesus’s inner circle, but so were Peter and James. And Peter and James would go on to play bigger roles in the early church. Yet, John rates himself solely as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” What happened that distinguishes him in this way?

This passage might be the answer. Jesus giving His mother to John wasn’t some cute colloquialism; John and Mary took it literally. Mary was now well cared for.

That’s love.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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