Last Words of Christ, Part 3: “Woman, behold your son!” (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on September 3, 2012


This is the third in a series that looks at the last words of Jesus Christ. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of September 2, 2012.. This message deals with Jesus’ work as Savior, and the importance of being near the cross. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript, because I typically add to my notes as I preach. For the entire message please listen to the audio.

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Last words 3


John 19:25-27

This third statement from Jesus helps us to understand what it means to be “near the cross”
When Jesus died, there were people present who cared.

This group of five people is a striking contrast to the mocking, careless crowd.
These five people were:

  • Mary, Jesus’ mother
  • His mother’s sister, the mother of John.
  • Mary the wife of Clopas.
  • Mary Magdalene
  • John, the disciple.

John was the only one of the inner circle of disciples that was there, at the foot of the cross.

Here, at Jesus’ feet were undoubtedly the nearest and dearest to Him, and he has a special word for them.

Jesus singles out His mother and John, and He speaks as Lord.
He issues commands to make assignments that would affect their positions and responsibility.

His Mother:

The catholics insist that Mary has been given the position of mediator. They call her “the mother of God” and “the queen of heaven” However; nothing like that can be found in what Jesus says to her, or anywhere else in the Scripture.

When Jesus says “woman behold your son,” He is breaking that mother-son relationship between the two of them. You see, Jesus will no longer be human, but completely God, so that former relationship cannot continue.

When He tells her to look at her son, He draws attention away from Himself, and directs it toward John. “From now on, not I, but John, is your son.”

He did not even address her as mother, but woman.
In doing this, he denied any kind of special privilege or position to her, because of their earthly relationship.
He placed her in the same position as the rest of those who He loved.
She was the one person at the cross who might unwittingly steal the attention and sympathy that is due to Him.
The result of this is that no one person is closer to God than any other!

Mary is no longer the mother, she is now a believer!
As a mother, this must have pierced Mary’s heart, and was undoubtedly painful for Jesus, as well.
In this time of darkness, Mary lost a son to find a Savior!

For Mary, the cross was a place of reward. She gained a Savior, and Jesus shared His beloved disciple with her.

John: The disciple whom Jesus loved.

For John, the cross was a place of responsibility.

Jesus reigned from the cross, He was in control and giving orders.

John, like the rest of the disciples had fled, but John came back to the cross, and Jesus restored him.
Likewise, no matter how far we stray, we can always come back. This is what John did, even though it was not the easiest or safest place to stand.
Jesus not only restored John, but He honored him.

It was now John’s responsibility to take care of Mary, for the rest of her life. John became a substitute son.
We can rest assured that Jesus always makes sure that the details are taken care of!

Himself: In dealing with Mary and John, Jesus also assumed a new assignment. He, of course, is the central figure in this whole scene.

First, He fulfilled the last detail of the law “honor your father and your mother”
Satan is thus robbed of any just reason for accusing Him, every jot and tittle of the law was fulfilled!

He cut Himself off from His mother, He forsook the best that earth had to offer Him, He renounced every tie that might interfere with His role as savior.
Jesus assumed the purpose for which He came, and that was to be our savior. Nothing was going to get in the way!

There is no hope, except in Jesus Christ.

Mary had been honored by God Visited by an angel And loved by a faultless son
Yet, she did not find her hope in the memory of these things, but in the mercy of a savior who died for her.

John 15:13

Second, there is no usefulness, except in the Lordship of Jesus.
That’s where John found his calling, by serving the Lord Jesus.

The cross is a place of reward and responsibility.
If we come to the cross, we have a big responsibility.

  • Loving Jesus
  • Living for Jesus
  • Loving others

Near the cross, that’s where He wants us to be.

It’s not an easy life, but it’s a blessed life, and it brings rewards.

Whatever He has called you to do, do it.

If you come near the cross, you will discover what a wonderful place it really is!