Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.…
A young man who was anxious to devote himself to the work of the ministry among the heathen, and had been recommended to the London Missionary Society, on undergoing the usual examination, stated that he had one difficulty: he had an aged mother entirely dependent upon an elder brother and himself for support; and in case of his brother's death, he should wish to be at liberty to return home, if his mother were still living, to soothe her pathway to the grave. Scarcely had he made this frank statement, when the harsh voice of a cast-iron committee-man exclaimed, "If you love your mother more than the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not do for us!" Abashed and confounded, the young man was silent. Some murmurs escaped the committee, and he was requested to withdraw for a while, that his proposal might be duly considered. On his being again sent for, Dr. Waugh, the venerable chairman, told him, with unaffected kindness, that the committee did not feel authorized to accept of his services for a period which might be so short and uncertain, but immediately added: "We think none the worse of you, my good lad, for your dutiful regard for your aged parent. You are acting in conformity to the example of Him whose gospel you wished to proclaim among the heathen, who, as He hung upon the cross, in dying agonies, beholding His mother and the beloved disciple standing by, said to the one, 'Woman, behold thy son!' and to St. John, 'Behold thy mother!'"
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.