It was not supposed to end like this. I couldn’t believe how badly we’d misread it. How could he be there hanging on a cross after all that He’d accomplished? I looked at my mother. She was shocked at where we stood and what we’d witnessed. Then from the cross, Jesus looked at his mother. It was an especially painful moment. She had been through so much with him. And to have it all end like this.
He struggled to speak – “Woman, behold your son!” I wondered if he was speaking about himself at first. But then I noticed him looking at me. Why was he looking at me? What would I have to do with Jesus’ mother? Then while still looking at me he said “Behold, your mother.” Then his gaze turned back to Mary. Jesus gave me, John, the responsibility of caring for his mother. (John 19:25-27)
Well that was understandable in the circumstances. Jesus was the oldest son and with his father now dead, He was responsible for his mother. But his brothers thought he was crazy. Maybe he thought they would turn away from their mother in the aftermath of his death.
Of course I would look after his mother the best I could. But I didn’t know how many days I even had to live. I couldn’t believe they finally got him. And if they could bring down Jesus, they could sure bring down his disciples.
I remember that day he called James and me to follow him. That was a pretty significant day. (Matthew 4:21-22) You see, we were kind of set up for life. Our father Zebedee had a fishing boat and had done well. We didn’t lack much. And we had this amazing mother, Salome. She always looked out for us. She ensured that we got plenty of opportunity in life. We even got to travel in some of the highest social circles of the nation. The High Priest’s family knew us (John 18:15) and we were honored to have been guests in his house on occasion. Our mother built into us a great amount of self-confidence. She would often say “God helps those who help themselves.” And “you can’t wait for life to come to you. You’ve got to go out and grab it.”