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God is Light (7) The Fruit of the Light
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쏤or you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth(Ephesians 5:8-9). ...
       
 
  
 

Series on "The Message of the Cross" – (18)

Manmin News   No. 91
9743
March 19, 2007


Jesus' Last Seven Words on the Cross (2)

{The Order of Publication}

1.The First and Second Words
2.The Third Word
3.The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Words
4.The Seventh Word

"When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' From that hour the disciple took her into his own household" (John 19:26-27).

When the moment of death approaches, most people look back at their lives and leave a will to their families and friends. Jesus, who had come into this world as the Savior of mankind, left behind a few words shortly before He breathed His last on the cross, and they are known as "The Last Seven Words on the Cross."
Once we have clearly fathomed the heart of Our Lord who, as the Son of God, fulfilled the Providence of salvation, we can become true children of God. Continuing from the last edition of Manmin News, let us pick up today with the third word Jesus bequeathed on the cross.

1."Woman, behold, your son!"

John 19:26 reads, "When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'" Here, "your son" refers to "the disciple whom [Jesus] loved – John. Jesus is asking the Virgin Mary to consider John as her own son.
Why, then, did Jesus say "Woman, behold, your son!"? One element of which to be mindful here is the fact that Jesus called the Virgin Mary, "woman."
The Bible never documents an instance in which Jesus referred to the Virgin Mary as His "mother." The term "mother" in "The Book of John" was used from the perspective of the author John, not that of Jesus.
In John 2 is a scene in which Jesus turned water into wine and then He referred to and called the Virgin Mary, "woman." This is because the Virgin Mary could never be the mother of Jesus. How could the Virgin Mary ever be the mother of Jesus, who is equal to God (Philippians 2:6) and God the Son among God the Trinity?
God is from everlasting to everlasting and is "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:14); no one has given birth to Him or formed Him. Therefore, Jesus who is "in the form of God" could not call the Virgin Mary, a mere creature, "Mother."
Besides, the Virgin Mary could not be Jesus' mother even from a biological point of view. People are generally conceived through the combination of a sperm and an egg but Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
If a child was born through artificial insemination, is the woman who bore the child his "mother"? If the child had spent a while in an incubator, should he call the incubator his "mother"? By the same token, Jesus does not call the Virgin Mary His "mother" just because He was in her womb before being born.
God would not be pleased if people thought of and treated the Virgin Mary as Jesus' mother and worshipped her as they would an idol. As God tells us in Exodus 20:3-4, "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol," we are never to make, serve, or worship idols of any creatures.
Jesus' next words, "Woman, behold, your son!" were intended to console the Virgin Mary. As she witnessed her beloved Jesus endure inexplicable affliction, the Virgin Mary also endured heart-wrenching pain and sorrow. The ever-so attentive Jesus remembered the Virgin Mary even in His last moments of life and had her rely on His disciple John as her own son.

2."Behold, your mother!"

John 19:27 continues, "Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her into his own [household].'" As He comforted the Virgin Mary, Jesus told His disciple John, "Behold, your mother!" From that point on, the Bible tells us, John took the Virgin Mary into his home and served her as his own mother.
After giving birth to Jesus as a virgin, Mary gave birth to more children with her husband Joseph. Still, Jesus did not ask the children of Mary and Joseph to look after her but entrusted His disciple John with this task. Of what must be clearly aware from this?
As Scriptures tells us "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" in Philippians 3:20, the children of God who have received salvation belong to heaven. God's children, all those who have accepted the Lord and whose names are recorded in the book of life, form a spiritual family who serves God as their Father.
Why and how, then, does God become our Father spiritually?
God is the source of life. Though each of us has been born of our biological parents, our parents' sperm and egg have been given to them by God. When we trace back our genealogy, we only find that the forefather of all mankind Adam came also from God. He personally formed Adam's body and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and therefore, our life is from God.
Even if a man and a woman were to marry, they could not conceive another life without God's permission, for the authority to give a spirit to the conceived child also belongs to God. As science and technology have developed to an unprecedented level, controversy surrounding human cloning has been brewing but no man is able to create his own spirit. People may be able to reproduce the flesh but since the reproduced flesh will lack the spirit, he will be no different than animals and could not be thought of as a man.
Furthermore, the gender, characteristics, outward appearance, and other attributes of the child conceived are also beyond the control of the parents. The irrefutable fact is that God alone governs the life of mankind.
There have been many instances at Manmin Joong-ang Church in which married couples, who had been unable to conceive a child, received blessings of pregnancy. Couples who had been married for 3, 5, 7, and even 10 years had tried in vain everything of which the might of man was capable. While the ways of man might have been futile in receiving the desires of their heart, their faith in God's power has warranted them the blessing of pregnancy.
Only God gives the spirit to man and only He governs life, death, curse, and blessing of mankind, and this God is our spiritual Father. If people lived our lives in accordance with the desires of the worldly ways without believing in Him, people could not call God "Father!" This is because, as Jesus has told us in John 8:44, "You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature;] for he is a liar, and the father of lies."
Therefore, even if we have become associated with certain individuals by blood in this world, we will not dwell in the eternal heaven with them if they do not believe in the Lord. Even Jesus has reminded on this very subject in Matthew 12:50, "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother," and taught us the nature of a true family, which is a spiritual family.
We are to love and serve our fleshly family but it must be spiritual love that is proper in God's sight. True love is not submitting to and loving one's family who blasphemes against God and walks in a way that is against His will. For instance, if one's fleshly parents and siblings said to the person, "Don't go to church" or "Join with me in committing this crime," you will have, in fact, led them not to love but to death. Therefore, while we are to love and serve our fleshly parents and siblings, we must do so within the boundary of the truth.
Furthermore, if we confess love for the members of our fleshly family, preaching the gospel to and leading them to heaven must become our priority. This is the way for each of us to create, maintain, and live with our spiritual family.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, embedded in the third word Jesus spoke whilst being crucified is the love of Jesus who sought to comfort the lamenting Mary. Our Lord is also telling us that all brothers and sisters in Him are our true family. May each of you come to grasp the heart of Our Lord even more clearly, love God more, and share with one another spiritual love in the Lord, in the name of Our Lord I pray!


 

 

 
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