What does John 19:26 mean?
ESV: When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
NIV: When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, "Woman, here is your son,"
NASB: So when Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'
CSB: When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son."
NLT: When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, 'Dear woman, here is your son.'
KJV: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
NKJV: When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”
Verse Commentary:
The disciples' fearful abandonment of Jesus is reflected in their absence at the cross (John 16:32). Only John—often referred to vaguely as one loved by Jesus (John 13:23)—is known to be there. If other disciples are watching, they are very far away (Luke 23:49). Also present are at least four women who are followers of Jesus (John 19:25). One of those women is Jesus' own mother, Mary (Matthew 1:16). An early prophecy about her involvement in Jesus' life (Luke 2:35) is coming true as she watches Him die.

Jesus refers to Mary using a polite, formal title, much as He did when speaking to her at the wedding in Cana (John 2:4). What He says to here is not a request for attention. He does not mean, "look at me, your son, and what is happening to me." As the next verse shows, Jesus is referring to John (John 10:27), telling Mary to now consider him her own son. By telling John to see Mary as his own mother, Jesus is ensuring that Mary will be cared for.

This might be a short-term provision, as Jesus has other siblings who ought to be able to care for Mary (Mark 3:31). He may only need John to take her in until she's able to reconnect with those family members. However, those other brothers and sisters are not yet supportive of Jesus' ministry (John 7:5). It's possible that with Jesus gone, there is no one else willing or able to see to her welfare. The suggestion that John "took her to his own home" (John 19:27) implies this is a permanent arrangement.
Verse Context:
John 19:17–30 describes Jesus' unjust execution by crucifixion. The Roman governor, Pilate, ironically puts a sign on Jesus' cross proclaiming Him "King of the Jews." This angers Jewish religious leaders, but the governor refuses to take the sign down or change the wording. As Jesus calls out to John to care for His mother, Mary, soldiers gamble for what's left of His clothes. Jesus pronounces the completion of His atoning sacrifice and dies. Matthew 27:31–56, Mark 15:22–41, and Luke 23:32–49 cover this same series of events.
Chapter Summary:
Pilate recognizes Jesus' innocence, but fears the mob assembled by Jewish religious leaders. He attempts to satisfy them by having Jesus viciously whipped and mocked. This only results in more cries for Jesus' death. The governor then shifts to protect his own reputation, ordering Jesus to be crucified on a charge of being "King of the Jews." John is directly present as Jesus is executed. He notes the fulfillment of several prophecies as Jesus dies. Once He is confirmed to be dead, Jesus' body is taken by two friendly members of the ruling council. They hastily bury Him in the borrowed crypt of a rich man.
Chapter Context:
When Jesus was first brought to Pilate, His innocence was obvious (John 18:36–38). However, the mob refuses to be satisfied with anything less than crucifixion. Pilate gives in to these demands. John, who is present for the entire gory spectacle, notes several instances of fulfilled prophecy (Psalm 22:18; Psalm 69:21; Exodus 12:46; Zechariah 12:10). Jesus is then buried in the borrowed tomb of a rich man (Isaiah 53:9) to complete yet another Old Testament prediction. A guard will be posted to ensure no one steals the body (Matthew 27:62–68), which will only serve to confirm that Jesus' eventual resurrection was a true miracle (John 20:1–8).
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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