While reading The Gospel of John recently, I began thinking over Jesus’ reasoning, perhaps, of why He tasked His disciple John with her care.
First, obviously, if all the other disciples were in hiding, afraid of being arrested too, you can’t talk to people who aren’t around. Maybe some showed up, but John was the only one mentioned at the cross, in attendance, in all of the Gospels as far as I know. As a side note, it’s interesting that Thomas found it easy to believe Jesus was crucified and pierced in the side by a spear, when he wasn’t even there, but found the rest of what the disciples told him about the empty tomb too difficult. I just wanted to point out that as humans we’re often that way. It’s easier for us to believe negative things than positive ones, but let’s get back on topic….
Anyway, back in those times I’ve heard it was customary for a man to ensure his mother was taken care of, if he would be unable to for some reason. This is especially if she was a widow by this time, which seems likely. So, Jesus would have wanted to make sure she was, like we said.
Now, we know from scripture already, in this Gospel that Jesus’ mother and brothers might have knew He was different, but might not have been sure what all they knew about Him. Jesus brothers even tried to suggest in so many words “go on somewhere else. You’re embarrassing us.” Not a direct quote but you can read the dialogue in John 7:1–10.
So, imagine having to go to someone’s house you thought was crazy every time you wanted to go see your mother. The brother you thought was crazy, had went off and gotten himself killed, but his last act of annoyance, to you, was giving your mother into the care of one of his cult followers. That’s the way it might have seemed to them, at least.
But Jesus knows a lot more of things than we do, whether we’re wise or smart enough to realize it or not. Every time they went, John of course mentioned that he was “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23, 20:2, 21:7, 20 etc.)
When they went, they no doubt knew he had been with Jesus, and truly was a disciple of Him, because of the love he showed to others. The majority of Jesus last words to His disciples was commanding them to love one another and love the people around them. He said this would be the hallmark of their having been His followers.
I think this was the reason Jesus left his mother in John’s care: Because He wanted His brothers to know it wasn’t just a game. Jesus was the real deal, and we know from scripture that at least one of Jesus brothers, James was converted. So, I guess it payed off.
An article on James, brother to Jesus –