Holy Week Part 3: The Word of Affection
I remember when I was helping serve at a youth camp we had a sermon in which the preacher discussed the sermon where Jesus says that our allegiance to Him should be so great that it makes our love even for our family look like hatred. It was a very stirring sermon that discussed our devotion to Christ over even the good things like family in our lives. There was a young man who came up to me later in the cabin and said that he had a question. “Kevin did Jesus not like his family that much? It seems like he was annoyed by them a lot.”
If you have read through the gospels it is possible you can get the impression that Jesus is often aloof when it comes to his own relationships with his immediate family in the gospels. Scriptures like Luke 2:41-49, John 2:1-5, Luke 14:25-27, and Matthew 12:46-50, could almost be read in a colder way than how Jesus intended to his own immediate family.
This of course is an incomplete picture and here in the passion narrative of Jesus’ life we the word of affection that Jesus had towards his earthly flesh and blood. When one thinks of God we often picture the mighty glorious Lion of the tribe of Judah and ignore the very real humanity Christ displayed while on earth.
In the Gospel of John which is the gospel that highlights the divinity of Christ more than all of the other gospels he records one of Christ’s more humane moments of compassion.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Women, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! - John 19:25a-26
In the midst of absorbing the complete wrath of God towards humanity to atone for our sins and his flesh being ripped apart he makes sure that his mother would be cared for.
Arthur Pink notes that,
“Engaged as He was in a divine transaction, making atonement for all the sins of all His people, grappling with the powers of darkness—yet amid it all, He has still the same human tenderness, which shows the perfection of the Man Jesus Christ.”
Christ’s glory lays not only in his glorious resurrection or ascension to heaven but in the very affection and compassion he had towards his own creation that he counts as family. This very compassion not only counts Mary as His mother in one instance but considers us all as His family now adopted into the family of God.