JOHN 19:24-27 JESUS, KNOWING THAT ALL THINGS WERE NOW ACCOMPLISHED, THAT THE SCRIPTURE MIGHT BE FULFILLED, SAID, “I THIRST!”

8Mar

John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

 We see more Scripture being fulfilled through Jesus and all that He does and has done to Him while on the cross. These cold callous soldiers are gambling for His garments as He is on the cross suffering the most cruel death ever devised up to that time.  All they can see is we are getting some material goods out of this deal.  Meanwhile Jesus is paying for the sins of the whole world. There are 4 soldiers who are cruel and they are contrasted by 4 loving women who have been there for Jesus and still are as He dies. The last thing Jesus does as He is dying is to give us the example to take care of the widows. He tells His mother to treat John as her son and for John to take care of His mother as if she was his own.

 It is John’s Gospel which most emphatically underscores the fulfillment of prophecy in the events surrounding our Lord’s death. Three times in our text John specifically informs his readers that prophecy has been fulfilled (verses 24, 36 and 37).

24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things. Fulfills Ps 22:18 They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots” (NKJV). they divide His clothing even before He's dead.

What John does stress throughout the Gospel, and it heightens as we go through the Passion narrative and Crucifixion, is the fulfillment of Scripture, verse twenty-four: to fulfill the Scripture.

Now fulfilling scripture is an important part of John assembling the evidence that Jesus Christ is who He said He is; He's going to die as He said He would die. Remember John says, "Glory comes from suffering."  So for Christ to find glory, He must go through the suffering of the cross.

 Look at it another way. Jesus Christ isn't dead yet and they're dividing His clothes. From a human standpoint, the poor guy is still alive and struggling and they're arguing over His clothes. They're doing what comes naturally to soldiers who do this thing. It's customary for them.

 But from the other side of it, Jesus Christ's life is hanging in the balance by His own will until Scripture is fulfilled. He's in control of the whole situation and He knows that they're going to do this thing and He knows that they're inadvertently just doing the details of throwing lots to figure out who gets what and they are fulfilling the Scripture. John doesn't miss the detail. I'm not denying the tragedy and the pain of it physically, but the physical suffering of Jesus Christ was nothing compared to the deeper fact of the cross."

When you go back and look at the Gospels, even the Synoptics, what do they say? "There they crucified Him." They don't go into details about the horizontal bar and the hanging between earth and heaven and the excruciating pain. We get some details. We're going to get more details in the text in the future, but not to the extent with which we are captivated by the crucified victim Christ on the death mechanism called the cross.

 So, if that's true then how do you and I when we come to the crucifixion, do we step aside our presuppositions and our sort of story ideas about this and look at the sufferings of Christ? Spiritually? That He was separated from God the Father; that He willingly, volitionally obeyed the Father to the point of death, even death on a cross; that the God of all eternity hurls all the abuse of His wrath on His only Son, and feeling that wrath, Christ calls out, "Why have You forsaken Me?"

The physical things of the earth and the curtain and all that we know and love in the storyline are all important pictures, no doubt, but lest we miss the spiritual separation of Jesus Christ from His Father. He died on that cross not just endure the physical punishment, but he died for you. He died for me.

They appear to be oblivious to the suffering of the three men hanging on their crosses. According to Luke (23:36), the soldiers joined in with the others who mocked Jesus, virtually daring Him to come down from the cross to save Himself. John characterizes these four soldiers using this one scene. As Jesus hung there, beaten and bleeding, the soldiers were down on their knees. They weren’t praying; they were casting lots. They were, so to speak, rolling the dice to see which one of them would get the one-piece tunic. I can almost see one of the men shaking the dice in the palm of his hand, saying, “Com’ on, snake eyes …Yes! It’s mine!”

It almost sounds as if these soldiers were bored. Perhaps they had carried out this duty so many times they were just mechanically doing their job. There was nothing new or unexpected here, not yet, that is.[i] From experience, these soldiers must have felt they knew almost exactly what would happen over the next few hours. Their ears very likely tuned out every moan and cry. They may have learned not to even look at their victims. If there is going to be any excitement for them at all, it will be in the casting of lots to see who wins the garments the dying men will leave behind. I cannot think of any way John could have better captured the cold-heartedness of these four men than by seizing upon this moment in time as they huddle together on the ground, casting lots for our Lord’s garments. They see nothing to gain from Jesus but some item of clothing.

As He hung there on that cross, shedding His precious blood for guilty sinners, all they could think about was our Lord’s tunic. When Jesus was “rolling away the burden of our sins” (as the hymn celebrates), they were rolling the dice.

Yet, let us not be too quick to judge these soldiers. They are no different, in heart, than many today. They ignore the atoning work of Jesus and look to Him only to meet their material needs—not the need for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life—but for their physical needs. Even we who name the name of Christ as Savior and Lord all too often only look to Him to care for our material needs. Our prayers sound more like shopping lists than serious petitions for our spiritual needs and those of others.

That Jesus died naked was part of the shame which He bore for our sins. At the same time He is the last Adam who provides clothes of righteousness for sinners." Romans 5:12-21

Now many of your Bibles have a paragraph, sort of a hard break return if you will, at verse twenty-five “a.” Some of them run it together and do not break the text there. I would opt to break the text there with sort of a paragraph return for a number of reasons.

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Mt 27:55; Mr. 15:40; Lu 23:49; 24:18

It is interesting that John did not identify his own mother by name or as the mother of Zebedee's sons. His mother’s sister, Salome, the mother of James and John[ii] He evidently wanted to play down his mother's identity as well as his own since he did not mention himself directly in this Gospel either. By referring to his mother as the sister of Jesus' mother, John prepared for Jesus' action in verses 26-27. John was Jesus' cousin on his mother's side. As such, he was a logical person to assume responsibility for Mary's welfare. Evidently Jesus' physical half- brothers did not become believers until after His resurrection.

Do not confuse Mary Magdalene with the “sinful woman” described in Luke 7:36ff. Jesus had delivered Mary Magdalene from demons (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2), and she used her resources to assist Jesus in His ministry. Salome had asked Jesus for thrones for her two sons James and John who wrote this book (Matt. 20:20–29), and He had denied her request. You wonder what she was thinking about as she stood there and beheld Jesus dying on the cross. The scene must have rebuked her selfishness.

Clopas has been identified with Cleopas, probably Joseph’s sister to whom the risen Lord appeared on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:18) and with Alphaeus, the father of James the Less. Mary is the name of all who are named; Mary means bitterness.

Start a new thought. We have four soldiers in the previous section; now we'll have four women and John is setting up a beautiful contrast in the narrative about, "Look at what these four men did. Now look at what these four women do to the body of Jesus Christ."

In stark contrast to the four male dice-rolling soldiers are the four dedicated women John identifies by name. The soldiers seem to have no appreciation for who Jesus is. They may never have seen Him before. They have no compassion on Him, even though He is suffering beyond words. These four women linger as close to the cross as they can get. They are among those women who followed Jesus, supporting Him from their own means (Mark 15:40-41; Luke 8:1-3). They did not look upon His death as a means of gaining some of His possessions (as was the case with the soldiers), but as the greatest loss they had ever suffered. Was it one of these women who gave Jesus the seamless garment for which the soldiers gambled?

26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Joh 2:4; 13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20,24

John is the only one of the apostles with courage enough to take his stand with the women by the Cross.

John never names his name but calls himself "the one whom Jesus loved," I can just hear him saying that. I kind of can imagine his whole heart just about to burst and he’d say, you know me, I'm the one that Jesus loves. I mean, that's a kind of exciting thought, isn't it? I mean, he didn't say, I'm the one that loves Jesus; no, he gets more excited about His love for him than his own love for the Lord,

Woman means grandmother or old woman, it is a form of respect such as Ma’am here in the south.

It was as Jesus was hanging there, half-naked, on that cross that He made arrangements for the care of His mother:

27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Ps 69:21; Joh 1:11; 16:32

He gave Mary a new son. You see, from the moment of His death He would cease to be the earthly Son of Mary so He replaced Himself in Mary's life with John.

There are some beautiful thoughts in this. As He dies, Jesus, the King of love, selflessly cares for those who stand at His feet. It is almost incomprehensible because here is Jesus occupied with the most stupendous task in the history of the universe, here is Jesus Christ under a burden which no one could possibly have sustained or endured, here is Jesus Christ enduring in a matter of several hours what it will take all individuals through all eternity in all of Hell to endure; and in the midst of it all, He thinks not one thought of Himself but cares only for His Mother and His beloved disciple.

William Barclay says, ‘There is something infinitely moving in the fact that Jesus in the agony of the Cross, in the moment when the salvation of the world hung in the balance, thought of the loneliness of His mother in the days when He was taken away. Jesus never forgot the duties that lay to His hand.’ Earlier in this Gospel we are told that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him (7:5), and we may fairly infer that they were out of sympathy with Mary. So it was important that there should be somebody who would look after her when Jesus was no longer there.”

the Fourth Gospel focuses on the exclusiveness of the Son, the finality of his cross-work, the promise of the Paraclete as the definitive aid to the believers after Jesus has been glorified, and correspondingly de-emphasizes Mary by giving her almost no part to play in the narrative, and by reporting a rebuke, however gentle, that Jesus administered to her (2:4). With such themes lying on the surface of the text, it is most natural to see in vv. 26-27 an expression of Jesus’ love and care for his mother, a thoughtful provision for her needs at the hour of supreme devastation. … To argue, then, that this scene is symbolic of a continuing role for Mary as the church comes under her care is without adequate contextual control. It is so anachronistic an interpretation that [it] is difficult to imagine how it could have gained such sway apart from the developments of centuries of later traditions.  Jesus' act also placed Mary under John's authority,

The common Protestant interpretation of this incident is that Jesus, knowing He was about to die and to return to the Father, made arrangements for the long-term care of His mother.  This “long-term” element does raise some questions. We are told in Scripture that it is the responsibility of the immediate family to look after their own:

1Timothy 5:3-4 - 3 Honor widows who are truly in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God, Why, then, would Jesus assign the responsibility of caring for His mother to John, who is not one of her sons? The answer most would give is that none of her other sons were believers (see John 7:5). This is true, of course, but not for long. We know that within days or weeks, James, Jesus’ half-brother, will come to faith and eventually become a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). Why would Jesus assign the long-term care of Mary to John, knowing that James, her son, will soon come to faith?

I would suggest that our problems are solved if we see Jesus providing here for Mary’s short-term care. Surely we would agree that Jesus knew James was one of the elect. If James is one of our Lord’s “sheep,” then Jesus would know it and would not act in a way that was contrary to this knowledge. I would suggest to you that Jesus was providing for the care of His mother for the next few days or weeks. We know that John immediately began to care for Mary, because he tells us so in verse 27 (“from that very time”—literally, “from that hour”). There are those who believe that John (or his family) may have actually owned a home in Jerusalem. This could explain why John (“the other disciple”) was known to the high priest and to the servant girl at the gate (18:16). Mary, like the disciples, could have been in danger and would certainly need to be looked after for a while. John would have been the one most able and willing to carry out this task.

The next few days were going to be pure agony. We do not know for certain that Mary’s other sons were present in Jerusalem (though we would expect so—see John 7:1-9), but if they were, can you imagine what kind of comfort these unbelieving sons would have been to their believing mother?  I can almost hear James trying to comfort Mary after the death of Jesus: “Mom, you know I told Jesus to give up His insane talk about being the Messiah. He must have been out of His mind. And now, all of this foolishness was for nothing, except to shame us.” I believe that Jesus assigned John to care for Mary because he was the one closest to the heart of our Lord, and because he was the first disciple to believe (see John 20:8). He also seems to have had the means to do so. Who better to look after Mary in the next dark and difficult days than John?

 Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Something changed all this, as we can see from the statement of the centurion (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39). The three hours of darkness must have had an impact on them all, not to mention the unusual way in which Jesus died, followed by the violent earthquake of Matthew 27:51ff.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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