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Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading for Sunday November 20, John 19.23-27

John 19.23-27

23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” 25And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.


Thoughts:  John's gospel is unique in that one of the disciples is actually at the foot of the cross--John the beloved.   The other gospels tell us that none of the disciples where there.  Does it matter?  Sometimes I wonder if John in his telling of the story couldn't bear the truth that he also wasn't there, and so he 'remembered' the day as it should have been, a faithful beloved disciple there with his Lord.  Of course I have room for the fact that he WAS there and the other Gospel writers simply didn't have that straight, but it is curious nonetheless.  Some have said that perhaps John the beloved represents the church at this moment, and so Jesus is giving over to the church his mother to care for; but likewise his mother can see the church as a part of that which she has 'given birth.' 

Questions:   What do you think about the soldiers who gambled for his clothes?  Can we ever become so accustomed to cruelty and violence that it no longer causes us pain in our hearts?

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