In one of the most tender moments of the cross, Jesus looks at His desperate, heartbroken mother and shows genuine care. This moment shows us that Jesus isn’t just a loving Savior who is only preoccupied with the enormity of our sin problem, but also a sympathetic Savior who immensely cares about our smallest hurts and reigns supreme over the affairs of this world.
Open: Have you ever felt as if you couldn’t see clearly what was happening in your life? Have you ever felt that God was distant or disengaged? Describe both situations:
Read: John 19; Luke 2:22-35; Matthew 12:46-50; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Galatians 6
1. It seems that suffering, brokenness, and strife are growing in our culture today. Why do you believe that is? How do these moments lead us to question the character of God?
2. While Jesus was suffering on the cross, He noticed his mother and four others. What were the circumstances that most likely stirred His thoughts toward His mother? How do we see Jesus demonstrating care even in His own death? How should this build our confidence that God does take notice of even the small hurts of our lives?
3. Notice the word “Behold” is mentioned twice (once to Mary and again to John). What does this word mean? How does it exhibit Christ as a sympathetic sufferer? Why did Jesus call His mother “Woman”? Is this respectful? How does this show His supremacy over her hurt? In what ways do we see Jesus as sympathetic but not as supreme? Why is it a “both and” when it comes to Jesus’ character in the midst of our suffering?
4. Read 1 Peter 5:6-7. How does a big view of God cause us to trust in Christ whether we understand what is happening or not?
5. How do Jesus’ statements to His mother and John reshape their family lines? How important is it to have other people help carry your burdens? What role does this church play in this? Who helps you carry your struggles? Who do you help?
Pray: Ask God to give you greater awareness of His sympathy, sufficiency, and supremacy in your difficult moments. Ask God to not only give you someone you can trust with your burdens but also someone you can aid with their burdens.
Memorize/Meditate: Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 O