John 19:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 19:25, NIV: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:25, ESV: but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:25, KJV: Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:25, NASB: Now beside the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:25, NLT: Standing near the cross were Jesus' mother, and his mother's sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.

John 19:25, CSB: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

What does John 19:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Unlike modern executions, crucifixion was intended to be as public as possible. Crosses were placed where they could be easily seen. The location of this execution is near enough to the city (John 19:20) that many people can see what is happening. None of Jesus' followers or family would need special permission to be here. Given that Jesus is being executed, at least officially, for opposing Roman rule (John 19:19), the situation is more complex. Being associated with Jesus at this point could be dangerous.

Risks aside, it's tragic to note that only one of the disciples, John (John 13:23), is nearby to see His master's death (John 19:26). Whether any others are hiding nearby is unknown (Matthew 26:56; John 20:19). Any who happen to be watching are doing so from a considerable distance (Luke 23:49). Adding to their shame, of the five people known to be there for Christ during His crucifixion, four are women. In that culture, women were dismissed as powerless, weak, and easily abused. Jesus did much to dispel those myths, and even at His execution, the women who followed Him prove braver than most of the male disciples (John 16:32).

Jesus's mother could be forgiven for not wanting to watch something so horrifying. Yet, here she is. That this is happening, at all, fulfills a prophecy given when Mary first learned she would bear Jesus (Luke 2:35).

Scholars are not entirely sure who Mary's sister is. Some believe it might be Salome (Mark 15:40; 16:1). It's possible this person is also the mother of the disciples John and James (Matthew 20:20).

This is the first time John's gospel mentions Mary Magdalene. She is referred to by other Scriptures as someone Jesus healed of possession by seven demonic spirits (Luke 8:2). Her main contribution to the gospel story, however, will come when she encounters Jesus after His resurrection (John 20:18).