Friday, March 28, 2008

John 19:25-27

Is a part of the Lectionary we read this Palm Sunday past. From the NIV:
“25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ 27and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
Ever the skeptic, it intrigued me. Conventional wisdom says that Christ was referring to John (The Beloved) when speaking to His Mother saying “here is your Son.”, and to John when saying “Here is your Mother.” However, everything pointing to John being there seems to hinge upon the pronoun “his” in the passage: “this disciple took her into his home.”

I can find no other reference to the Apostles being at the Crucifixion and have always recognized Mary of Magdalene as a Disciple (note that I didn’t say Apostle). Searching out the Synoptics, I can’t find any passages to contradict John’s description of those near the Cross. Figured out where I’m headed with this, yet?

Here then, is my heresy. What’s to say that Christ wasn’t speaking to John but to Mary Magdalene when He said: “Here is your Mother.”? The earlier part of the passage can certainly be interpreted as Christ speaking to His Mother in regard to His condition, saying behold, “here is your Son”; rather than instructing Her the Disciple is to be taken as Her son.

Obviously as a disciple Mary was loved by Christ, and is shown to be one of His favorites. I don’t believe that could be argued either. But for the pronoun “His”, there seems only circumstantial support and tradition for Jesus’ speaking to John. I’m not smart enough to translate from the original Greek and even were I so, after 2.67 years of EFM I might be tempted to question the possibility of a recension or redaction somewhere along the line.

The question then becomes: “Where does that leave me?” Truly, I don’t know. What I do know; however, is that Christ was crucified for the redemption of God’s creation. In that simple statement I find the salvation of this world, myself included. And that’s really all that matters, isn’t it? So, I guess I’ll just go home and reread The DiVinci Code.


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