23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” 25 Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
We just recently had a teacher here to talk about business as mission. He showed us some examples of it throughout the bible. During our discussion we talked about the misconception that God calls us to be paupers if we are going to be followers of Him. We tend to look at the story of Jesus telling the rich man to go sell all His stuff and follow Him as a direct application; yet we fail to see the application that it isn’t about money, it is about our heart. Our teacher explained to us the importance of the “seamless tunic.” For starters, we should understand that the tunic was the undergarment, per se. It was His underwear. Now the fact that it was seamless pointed out its quality. It was as if Jesus was wearing Under Armour boxers and t-shirt under His cloak. It was a highly valuable article of clothing, which is why they decided to gamble for it instead of tear it to use as cloth. He wasn’t flashy but if He could afford it, He certainly enjoyed some luxuries in life.
After this had happened, we learn another interesting aspect of Jesus and His family. We look at the second half of this passage and say, “yeah, since Jesus was dying He commissioned John (the disciple whom Jesus loved) to care after His family.” But what does this mean? It means, for one, that Joseph at this point was dead. Jesus, being the firstborn, had become the provider and protector of the family. He still had to care for them and this here was His final act of responsibility towards them: making sure they are looked after once He is gone.
It doesn’t say why one of His younger brothers didn’t take over this role. We know James was one of His brothers and was a disciple (who wrote the book of James). Maybe they weren’t there at the time. John was indeed a very close companion of Jesus, so it makes sense that He would pick him for the job. John was trusted, respected, and we know he was able to support the family because of his status in the community.
I think that these two little elements are often overlooked when studying the life of Jesus. We look at His teachings and miracles, picking them apart and analyzing their practicality (not that it’s bad to do that). However here we have a glimpse into His private life. I mean, we even learn what kind of underwear the guy wore! But we see here that not only did He lead this 3 year ministry, taught a dozen close disciples and hundreds of others, but He also provided for and cared for His family. He did it all with excellence and in His final moments, He was still more concerned with their well being than His own.
How often do we let our ministry or our job get in the way of providing for our families? I don’t just mean earning money and making sure their physical needs are met. Rather, do we spend time with them? Do we love them as much as we love those outside of our home? God doesn’t call us to go out and do great things and neglect our family and friends. Rather He calls us to involve them, to make them a part and make sure we do not neglect them. In the end it was His mother and closest friends standing there in His final moments. Why? They loved Him and He loved them. It is in our toughest and most challenging moments that we will need them there and if they are not, we will wish we had loved them more.
How do you treat your biological family? How do you respond to the pushes and pulls of life in regard to their existence? Do you expect them to be there for you, but you are never there for them?