Jesus’ Love For His Followers

When reading through the Gospel of John I’m always surprised at how Jesus addressed his mother. He never addressed her as “mother”, or “mom”. But always as “woman”. With Mary he did so when she mentioned that the hosts had run out of wine at the wedding of Cana (John 2:4). He did so again from the cross, when he entrusted her to John the disciple’s care (John 19:26). It has always struck me as surprising that Jesus would address his own mother in such a manner. It couldn’t mean that he did not care for Mary, because he demonstrated that when he entrusted her to John. Recently I noticed that Jesus used the same manner of address with other women in John’s gospel. In John 4:21, he referred to the Samaritan woman with the exact same term. Then in John 8:10, he addressed the woman caught in adultery using the same word. Finally, after his resurrection when he saw Mary Magdalene, in John 20:15, again Jesus used the same term. It seems so curious that Jesus would used the exact same term to address with each of these women, including his own mother! The question of why remained. Several moths ago, I heard a sermon in which the speaker mentioned that Jesus, when he had been told his mother and brothers were there, asked who were his mother and brothers. He answered his own question by saying that each one who followed him was his mother and brother. It struck me that it was not that Jesus loved his mother less by referring to her as “woman”, but that he loves the rest of us in the same manner as he did his own mother. Jesus has the same affection for all of us who seek to follow him as he did for his mother Mary. I find that awesome to ponder.

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