Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 19:25

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.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cleophas;   Death;   Jesus, the Christ;   Mary;   Parents;   Thompson Chain Reference - Family;   Filial Honour;   Home;   Honour;   Love;   Mary;   Maternal Love;   Mothers;   Parental;   Parents;   Women;   Young People;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Alphaeus;   Brother;   Cleophas;   Mary;   Salome;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - James the apostle;   John the apostle;   Mary;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Persecution;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Christianity;   Humiliation of Christ;   Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Alphaeus;   Cleopas;   Cleophas;   Joseph;   Mary;   Salome;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Alphaeus;   Brother;   Cleopas;   James;   John, the Gospel According to;   Mary Magdalene;   Mary of Cleophas;   Mary, the Virgin;   Salome;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Alphaeus;   Brothers, Jesus;   Cleophas;   Clopas;   James;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   John;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Mother;   Salome;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Alphaeus;   Brethren of the Lord;   Cleopas;   Clopas;   James;   John the Apostle;   Mary;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Alphaeus ;   Apostles;   Brethren of the Lord (2);   Cleophas;   Clopas ;   Hating, Hatred;   James ;   Joses ;   Loneliness;   Magnificat;   Mary;   Mary, the Virgin;   Matthew ;   Salmon;   Septuagint;   Seven Words, the;   Sisters;   Surname;   Woman (2);   Womanliness;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Cleopas ;   Mary, Wife of Cleophas;   Mary Magdalene ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Brother;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Mary;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Alphae'us;   Cle'opas;   Cle'ophas,;   James;   Ma'ry;   Ma'ry Magdalene;   Ma'ry the Virgin,;   Salo'me;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Brother;   Joseph;   Mary;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alphaeus;   Brethren of the Lord;   Cleopas;   Clopas;   James;   John, the Apostle;   Mary;   Salome;   Sister;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Alphaeus;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - James;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for March 5;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Mary the wife of Cleophas - She is said, in Matthew 27:56, (see the note there), and Mark 15:40, to have been the mother of James the Less, and of Joses; and this James her son is said, in Matthew 10:3, to have been the son of Alpheus; hence it seems that Alpheus and Cleopas were the same person. To which may be added, that Hegesippus is quoted by Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. l. iii. c. 11, as saying that Cleopas was the brother of Joseph, the husband of the virgin. Theophylact says that Cleopas, (brother of Joseph, the husband of the virgin), having died childless, his brother Joseph married his widow, by whom he had four sons, called by the evangelists the brothers of our Lord, and two daughters, the one named Salome, the other Mary, the daughter of Cleopas, because she was his daughter according to law, though she was the daughter of Joseph according to nature. There are several conjectures equally well founded with this last to be met with in the ancient commentators; but, in many cases, it is very difficult to distinguish the different Marys mentioned by the evangelists.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 19:25". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-19.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

His mother's sister ... was Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of James and John, according to Westcott, thus making James and John cousins of Jesus. He wrote:

This connection of St. John with the mother of the Lord helps explain the incident which follows .... The omission of the name of Salome, on this supposition, falls in with John's usage as to his brother and to himself.[15]

Any so-called "problem" concerning the mention by one Gospel of different women, or different numbers of women at the cross, or of different distances from which they viewed it - all such differences derive from eyewitness observance of the scene at different times throughout the day. Where is the critic who will affirm that exactly the same number of women, and exactly the same women, stood in exactly the same place throughout the whole day?

ENDNOTE:

[15] B. F. Westcott, op. cit., p. 276.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-19.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus,.... So near as not only to see him, but to hear him speak:

his mother; the mother of Jesus, Mary; which showed her affection to Christ, and her constancy in abiding by him to the last; though it must be a cutting sight, and now was fulfilled Simeon's prophecy, Luke 2:35 to see her son in such agonies and sorrow, and jeered and insulted by the worst of men; and though she herself was exposed to danger, and liable to be abused by the outrageous multitude; and it also showed that she stood in need, as others, of a crucified Saviour; so far was she from being a co-partner with him in making satisfaction for sin, as the Papists wickedly say:

and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas. The Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions distinguish Mary the wife of Cleophas from his mother's sister, by placing the copulative and between them, and so make two persons; whereas one and the same is intended, and who was the sister of Mary, the mother of Christ; not her own sister, for it is not likely that two sisters should be of the same name; but her husband Joseph's sister, and so her's; or else Cleophas was Joseph's brother, as Eusebius from Hegesippus saysF11Emseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 11. : and who was also not the daughter of Cleophas, as the Arabic version has here supplied it; much less the mother of him; but his wife, as is rightly put in our translation: for, according to the other evangelists, she was the mother of James and Joses, and who were the sons of Cleophas or Alphaeus; which are not the names of two persons, nor two names of one and the same person, but one and the same name differently pronounced; his true name in Hebrew was חלפי, or חלפאי, or חילפי, "Chelphi", or "Chelphai", or "Chilphi", a name frequently to be met with in Talmudic and Rabbinic writings; and so a Jewish writerF12Juchasin, fol. 92. 1. observes, that חילפא והוא אילפא, "Chilpha is the same as Ilpha"; and in Greek may be pronounced either Cleophas, or Alphaeus, as it is both ways: ignorance of this has led interpreters to form different conjectures, as that either the husband of this Mary had two names; or that she was twice married to two different persons, once to Alphaeus, and after his death to Cleophas; or that Cleophas was her father, and Alphaeus her husband; for neither of which is there any foundation. She was no doubt a believer in Christ, and came and stood by his cross; not merely to keep her sister company, but out of affection to Jesus, and to testify her faith in him:

and Mary Magdalene; out of whom he had cast seven devils, and who had been a true penitent, a real believer in him, an hearty lover of him, was zealously attached to him, and followed him to the last. Three Marys are here mentioned as together; and it is observable, that the greater part of those that are taken notice of, as following Christ to the cross, and standing by it, were women, the weaker, and timorous sex, when all his disciples forsook him and fled; and none of them attended at the cross, as we read of, excepting John; no, not even Peter, who boasted so much of his attachment to him. These good women standing by the cross of Christ, may teach us to do, as they did, look upon a crucified Christ, view his sorrows, and his sufferings, and our sins laid upon him, and borne and taken away by him; we should look unto him for pardon, cleansing, and justification, and, in short, for the whole of salvation: we should also weep, as they did, whilst we look on him; shed even tears of affection for, and sympathy with him; of humiliation for sin, and of joy for a Saviour: and likewise should abide by him as they did, by his persons, offices, and grace; by the doctrine of the cross, continuing steadfastly in it; and by the ordinances of Christ, constantly attending on them, and that notwithstanding all reproaches and sufferings we may undergo.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 19:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-19.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

8 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

(8) Christ is a perfect example of all righteousness, not only in the keeping of the first, but also of the second table of the ten commandments.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 19:25". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-19.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

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

[There stood by the cross, &c.] He stood under the cross [or the gallows] and wept. It is told of R. Eliezer Ben R. Simeon, who, being very angry, had commanded a fuller to be hanged; but his wrath abating, and he coming to himself, went after him to have freed him, but could not; for they had hanged the man before he came. He therefore repeated that passage, "He that keepeth his lips and his tongue keepeth his soul from trouble. He stood under the gallows and wept," &c.

[Mary of Cleophas.] That is, 'Mary the wife of Cleophas,' or Alpheus. For,

I. Consult Mark 15:40: "There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses." Now it is well enough known that Alpheus was the father of James the less and of Joses, Matthew 10:3.

II. We very oftentimes meet with the name amongst the Talmudists, which, in the reading, may be turned either into Alphai or Cleophi.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 19:25". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-19.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Were standing by the cross of Jesus (ιστηκεισαν παρα τωι σταυρωι του Ιησουhistēkeisan para tōi staurōi tou Iēsou). Perfect of ιστημιhistēmi to place, used as imperfect (intransitive) with παραpara (beside) and the locative case. Vivid contrast this to the rude gambling of the soldiers. This group of four (or three) women interests us more. Matthew (Matthew 27:55.) spoke of women beholding from afar and names three (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee). Mark also (Mark 15:40) names three (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome). They have clearly drawn near the Cross by now. John alone mentions the mother of Jesus in the group. It is not clear whether the sister of the mother of Jesus is Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee or the wife of Clopas. If so, two sisters have the name Mary and James and John are cousins of Jesus. The point cannot be settled with our present knowledge.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-19.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

There stood

Imperfect tense, were standing.

Mary Magdalene

Strictly, the ( ἡ ) Magdalene. She is introduced abruptly, as well known.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-19.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

His mother's sister — But we do not read she had any brother. She was her father's heir, and as such transmitted the right of the kingdom of David to Jesus: Mary, the wife of Cleopas - Called likewise Alpheus, the father, as Mary was the mother of James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 19:25". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-19.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene1.

  1. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. For comment on these four women, see , additional note there.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 19:25". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-19.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Mary the wife of Cleophas; in the Matthew 27:56,Mk+15:40,Lu+24:10 mentioned as the mother of James and Joses.

John 19:26,27. This brief but affecting mode of committing his afflicted mother to the care of his most devoted friend, at such an hour, is one of the most touching incidents in the Savior's history,--rendered still more so by the very feeling, and yet unaffected simplicity, with which John relates the circumstance. His last expression, took her to his own, has a force and meaning which the necessity of adding the word home, to preserve the English idiom, seriously impairs.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-19.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Стояла Матерь. Здесь Евангелист попутно упоминает о следующем: Христос так повиновался Богу Отцу, что вместе с тем не пренебрегал человеческим благочестием к матери. Забыв о Себе и обо всем прочем, насколько это было необходимо для послушания Отцу, Христос не пренебрег обязанностями по отношению к Своей матери. Отсюда мы узнаем, сколь почитаемо благочестие по отношению к Богу и людям. Часто бывает так, что Бог призывает нас к чему-либо, а родители, жена, дети зовут в другую сторону. И мы не можем удовлетворить всем. Если мы при этом уравниваем Бога с людьми, то поступаем дурно. Итак, следует предпочесть заповедь Божию, Его почитание и славу. А потом, насколько возможно, воздать должное и людям. Заповеди первой и второй скрижали закона нисколько не противоречат друг другу, как кажется на первый взгляд. Просто начинать надо с почитания Бога, а уже затем служить людям. Сюда же относятся и такие места Писания, как: кто не возненавидит отца и мать ради Меня, не достоин Меня (Мф.10:37; Лк.14:26). Итак, нам так надлежит заботиться о людях, чтобы они не мешали нам слушаться и почитать Бога. Исполнив же повеления Бога, мы законно будем думать о родителях, жене и детях, как и Христос позаботился о матери, но, уже находясь на кресте, к чему был призван Отчим повелением.

Кроме того, если обратить внимание на обстоятельства времени и места, можно поразиться дивному благочестию Христову по отношению к матери. Я не говорю о крайних терзаниях плоти, не говорю о поношениях, но в тот момент, когда жуткие богохульства вонзались в Его душу и происходил ужасный поединок со смертью и дьяволом, все это не помешало Ему проявить о ней заботу. Из этого можно заключить, каково то почитание, которое Бог велит в законе оказывать родителям. Христос же, поручая ученику исполнять роль сына, вручил ему Свою мать для прокормления и заботы. Итак, отсюда следует: честь, которая должна воздаваться родителям, состоит не в обрядах, но во всем необходимом ради них служении. С другой стороны, надо оценить верность этих женщин. Влекомые весьма редкой любовью, они последовали за Христом на распятие, но присутствовать на сем зрелище они могли, лишь научившись вере. Что касается Иоанна, то можно заключить, что его вера на время оказалась подавленной, но не совершенно угасла. Пусть же нам будет стыдно, если ужас перед крестом отвратит нас от следования Спасителю. Ведь у нас перед глазами стоит слава Его воскресения, а эти женщины видели только позор и проклятие. Марией Клеоповой Евангелист зовет или жену, или дочь Клеопы. Последнее предположение кажется более вероятным. Он говорит, что она была матерью сестры Иисуса, согласно обычаю еврейского языка. Евреи же всех родственников называли братьями. Также Мария Магдалина, как мы видим, не напрасно была избавлена от семи бесов. Ведь она до последнего выказывала себя верной Христовой ученицей.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

Ver. 25. Now there stood by the cross, &c.] The men were fled, the women stood to it. Souls have no sexes. Manoah’s wife was the more manly of the two. Priscilla is sometimes set before Aquila. When St Paul came first to Philippi, he had none that would hear him, but a few women, Acts 18:18; Romans 16:3; 2 Timothy 4:19; Acts 16:13.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 19:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-19.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 19:25

The Honour due to the Virgin Mary.

I. We find in the New Testament that in place of there being any sanction in Scripture for the extraordinary honour being rendered to the mother of our Lord, the weight of testimony is all the other way. We believe that the most satisfactory account which can be given of this is, that our Lord foresaw the idolatrous homage which in progress of time would be rendered to the Virgin, and He determined that there should be nothing in His deportment from which such homage might draw even the shadow of encouragement. The Papist, indeed, in default of other scriptural evidence, would make use of the words of the angel in the annunciation, saying that they imply or involve an act of adoration of the Virgin. The words, as we translate them are "Hail, thou that art highly favoured." The Papist would translate them, "Hail, thou that art full of grace," and thus they make the salutation of the angel the same with their Ave Maria, the repetition of which is prescribed as a religious act of no ordinary worth.

II. We are right in supposing that Mary's life must have been one of great suffering, so that she is to be admired as a martyr: The words spoken by Christ on the Cross to His mother are exquisitely beautiful, as proving the thoughtfulness of Christ to her, when we might have supposed Him so occupied with His mighty undertaking on behalf of this creation, that He had no soothing word to give to a sorrowing individual; yet if ever words cut the human heart, these must have been as a sword to that weeping Mary. If she had entertained a lingering hope that Christ would yet triumph over His enemies, and remain to bless His friends, these words must have destroyed it, for providing for her another son did but tell her so clearly and emphatically, that she was losing Him altogether: or that, even if He rose from the dead, it would not be to renew the sweet intercourse of earthly affection. Surely the last words of Christ addressed to His mother, though we may allow them to have been words overflowing with tenderness, must have cut that mother to the quick; and we need adduce nothing further in evidence that Mary herself may justly be regarded as having had martyrdom to undergo, at least at the awful hour of our Lord's crucifixion; and that, as we admire her for her faith, and the meekness with which she received the annunciation that Christ should be her son, so ought we to admire in her, the courage and the constancy of one who is led up to the scaffold, or fastened to the stake, as a confessor for God and truth, when we read the simple plaintive statement of our text, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother."

H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 1682.

References: John 19:28.—W. Lamson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 383; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 364; vol. iv., p. 169; Bishop Harvey Goodwin, Parish Sermons, 5th series, p. 261; C. J. Vaughan, Words from the Cross, p. 30; Ibid., Plain Sermons, p. 218; E. Paxton Hood, Sermons, p. 179; J. Vaughan, Sermons, 11th series, p. 157; J. Stalker, The New Song, p. 65; W. Hanna, The Last Day of our Lord's Passion, p. 201; J. Keble, Sermons for Holy Week, p. 192.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-19.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 19:25. There stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, &c.— Neither her own danger, nor the sadness of the spectacle, nor the reproaches and insults of the people, could restrain our Lord's mother from performing the last sad office of duty and tenderness to her divine Son on the cross. Grotius justly observes, that it was a noble instance of fortitude and zeal. Now a sword, according to Simeon's prophesy, pierced through her very soul; and perhaps the extremity of her sorrows might so overwhelm her spirits, as to render her incapable of attending the sepulchre, which we do not find that she did. After this we do not meet with any thing concerning her in the sacred history, or in early antiquity, except that she continued among the disciples after our Lord's ascension, Acts 1:14. The popish writers, indeed, have given us a variety of ridiculous tales concerning her. Instead of the wife, some commentators read the daughter of Cleophas. There is no word in the original either for wife or daughter.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 19:25". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-19.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

These words contain our Saviour's affectionate recommendation of his distressed mother to the care of a dear disciple. It was an argument of Christ's wonderful love to her, that when he was nailed to the cross, and ready to die, he was more concerned for his mother's sorrows than for his own sufferings.

Now was Simeon's prophecy fulfilled, A sword shall pass through thine own soul also. Luke 2:35 Her soul was pierced for him, both as his natural mother, and also as a mystical member of him her head; therefore Christ applies these comfortable words as a salve to her wounds, even whilst his own were bleeding unto death. Woman, behold thy son.

Where note, he calls her Woman, and not mother; he doth not say, Mother, behold thy Son; but, Woman, behold him. Not that Christ was ashamed of, or unwilling to own her as his mother; but either,

1. Fearing that calling her by that name should augment and increase her grief and trouble.

Or else, 2. To intimate his change of state and condition, that being ready to die and return to his Father in heaven, he was above all earthly relations, and knew no one after the flesh, no, not his very mother; yet, see at the same time, when he was above her, and about to leave her, how his care manifested itself for her, when his soul and body were full of anguish to the very brim; yet all this makes him not in the least unmindful of so dear a relation.

Thence learn, that Christ's tender care of his mother, even in the time of his greatest distress, is an excellent pattern for all children to imitate and follow to the end of the world.

St. John here obeyed Christ's command, and imitated his example: he took her to his own home; that is, he treated her with all that dutiful regard which a tender and indulgent mother challenges from a pious and obedient son.

No personal trial or trouble upon ourselves doth exempt us from the performance of our duty towards others, especially towards our near and dear relations; Christ, in the extremity of his sufferings, accounted it his duty to take care of and provide for his dear mother; teaching us by his example that children ought to evidence that they honour their parents, by taking care of them in their decayed and desolate condition.

Again, inasmuch as St. John took care of the holy mother after her dear son's death; that disciple took her to his own home; we learn, that the Lord never removes one comfort, and takes away the means of subsistence from his people, but he raises up another in the room of it.

It is very probable that Joseph her husband was before this time dead, and Jesus her son was now dying; but still God provides; he raises up St. John to take care of her; he takes her to his own home, and looks upon her as one of his family.

But how comes St. John above the rest to have this honourable service put upon him, and this high trust reposed in him?

Answer, the text tells us he was the disciple whom Jesus loved; that is, in a more particular manner, treating him with greater freedom and familiarity than the rest; he also evidenced more love unto, and more courage and resolution for, Christ, than the rest of the disciples, he standing by the cross, when they got afar off, Mark 15:40.

Thence we learn, that such as are beloved of Christ, as do keep close unto him, and express most zeal and resolution for him, shall be peculiarly honoured by him, and be employed in the highest services for him.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 19:25". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-19.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

25.] In Matthew 27:55-56 (250), we learn that two of these were looking on afar off, after Jesus had expired, with Salome. Considering then that John’s habit of not naming himself, might extend to his mother (he names his father, ch. John 21:2), we may well believe that ἡ ἀδελφὴ τ. μητρὸς αὐτοῦ here represents Salome, and that four women are designated by this description. So Wieseler and Meyer, Luthardt opposing them. So also Ewald: and, which is no mean evidence, the Peschito, inserting a καί between αὐτοῦ and ΄αρία.

ἡ τοῦ κλωπᾶ, wife of Klopas (Alphæus, see Matthew 10:3, and Prolegg. to Ep. of James, § i. 4), the mother of James the Less and Joses: Matt., Mark.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 19:25". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-19.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 19:25. εἱστήκεισαν, there were standing) John from modesty does not mention his own mother Salome, who also stood by [Mark 15:40].— ἀδελφὴ, the sister) No brother of Mary is mentioned. She herself was heir of her father, and was therefore transmitting to Jesus the right to the kingdom of David.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 19:25". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-19.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

These words the wife are not in the Greek, but supplied by our translators; which leaves it doubtful whether that Mary was the wife, or the mother, or the daughter of Cleophas.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 19:25". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-19.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Хотя точное число упомянутых здесь женщин не известно, Иоанн, говорит скорее о четырех женщинах, а не о трех, т.е. о двух, названных по имени, и о двух, не называя их: 1) Матерь Его» (Мария); 2) сестра Матери Его (возможно, Саломия (Мк. 15:40) – сестра Марии и мать Иакова и Иоанна, сыновей Зеведеевых (Мф. 27:56, 57; Мк. 15:40); 3) «Мария Клеопова» (Мать Иакова меньшого и Иосии – Мф. 27:56) и 4) Мария Магдалина («Магдалина» означает «из Магдалы» – селения на западном берегу Галилейского моря, в 2 или 3 милях (3,2–4,8 км) севернее Тивериады). Мария Магдалина является известной личностью и играет видную роль в повествовании о Воскресении (см. 20:1-18; ср. Лк. 8:2, 3, где Иисус изгнал из нее бесов).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 19:25". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-19.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Jesus commits his mother to the care of John, John 19:25-27.

25.Stood by the cross—The same feeling of safety which induced John to enter the high priest’s palace, seems to have emboldened him at the head of his female company to make the nearest approach to the cross. No danger was to be apprehended from the Roman authorities, who so reluctantly surrendered even Jesus to death. The only harm could arise from the malice of the multitude. It was probably just as the shades of the supernatural darkness were dense enough to obscure their approaching figures, that they came within listening distance of the dying Saviour. Abruptly, and avoiding (perhaps for her safety) addressing her as mother, Jesus utters his last words to her.

His mother’s sister—We suppose this clause to be in opposition with the clause following, and that his mother’s sister was Mary, wife of Cleopas; so that there are but three women here mentioned.

Cleopas—Rather Clopas. See note on Luke 24:18.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-19.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene.’

As it is unlikely that Mary’s sister would also be called Mary we must probably see this as referring to four women, Mary and her sister; together with Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas. Mary’s sister may well have been called Salome (Mark 15:40), and may well have been the mother of James and John (Matthew 27:56). In fact this would explain the anonymity. The writer never mentions names of those connected with James and John, a further confirmation that John is the author. There is therefore a contrast between these four faithful followers and the four soldiers who carried out the crucifixion.

Mary Magdalene was a woman out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils (Mark 16:9). There is absolutely no reason why we should assume that she was an unchaste woman. Later tradition was probably the result of speculation. (Woe betide facts when a man finds a sermon coming on).

We know that a number of women followed Jesus and His disciples about at various times and sometimes provided for them financially (Luke 8:3). They would form a female unit. It was to their credit that they were there at His hour of greatest need. But to be fair to the disciples the women would not be seen to be in as great a danger as the Apostles who saw themselves as marked men and liable to arrest.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-19.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The four women standing nearby contrast with the four soldiers. Morris assumed that the four women were believers and the four soldiers were unbelievers. [Note: Morris, p717.] While the soldiers behaved callously and profited immediately from Jesus" death, the women waited faithfully and patiently for what God would do. It was apparently common for friends and relatives, as well as enemies, to stand at some distance around the crosses of crucified criminals. [Note: E. Stauffer, Jesus and His Story, pp111, 179, footnote1.] Only John mentioned that Jesus" mother was present at His crucifixion.

Some Women Who Observed the Crucifixion

Matthew 27:56

Mark 15:40

John 19:25

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene

Jesus" mother (Mary)

Mary the mother of James and Joseph =

Mary the mother of James the less and Joses =

Mary the wife of Clopas

Mother of Zebedee"s sons =

Salome =

Jesus" mother"s sister

It is interesting that John did not identify his own mother by name or as the mother of Zebedee"s sons. John never named himself, or his brother James, or any other member of his family. He evidently wanted to play down his mother"s identity as well as his own since he did not mention himself directly in this Gospel either. By referring to his mother as the sister of Jesus" mother, John set the scene for Jesus" action in John 19:26-27. John was Jesus" cousin on his mother"s side. As such, he was a logical person to assume responsibility for Mary"s welfare. Evidently Jesus" physical half-brothers did not become believers until after His resurrection.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-19.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 19:25. But there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. In Matthew 27:55 we are told of ‘many women beholding from afar.’ But as there is nothing to say that the moment was the same as that now before us, the supposed contradiction between ‘by the cross’ and ‘from afar’ disappears. If the third of the women here mentioned be the same as the second, we shall have two sisters of the same name in one family; for ‘sister’ cannot mean cousin. The high improbability of this leads to the supposition that we have here four women, in two groups of two each. This view is confirmed by the fact that the lists of apostles are in like manner given us in groups of two, and by what does not seem to have been urged as an argument upon the point, that the four women seem designedly placed in contrast with the four soldiers. (Not that the Evangelist makes the number in order to suit his purpose; but that out of the ‘many’ spoken of by Matthew he selects four for its sake. It is the same habit as that of which we have seen so much,—the selection of particulars to illustrate the historical idea which he is desirous to unfold.) On the supposition that four women are mentioned, it appears from the earlier Gospels that the second, here unnamed, was Salome, John’s own mother. Whether Clopas may be identified with Cleopas (Luke 24:18) it is impossible to decide.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-19.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 19:25. This part of the scene is closed (that another may be introduced) with the common formula, . (“Graeci ’ saepissime hujusmodi conclusiunculis utuntur.” Raphel in loc.) ’ The soldiers for their part acted as has been related, but there were others beside the cross who were very differently affected. . It is doubtful whether it is meant that three or that four women were standing by the cross; for may either be a further designation of , or it may name the first member of a second pair of women. That four women are intended may be argued from the extreme improbability that in one family two sisters should bear the same name, Mary. The Synoptists do not name the mother of Jesus among those who were present, but Matthew (Matthew 27:56) and Mark (Mark 15:40) name Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome the mother of John. Two of these three are mentioned by John here, and it is natural to infer that the unnamed woman ( . . .) is the third, Salome; unnamed possibly because of this writer’s shyness in naming himself or those connected with him. But the fact that Luke (Luke 24:10) names Joanna as the third woman reflects some uncertainty on this argument. If Salome was Mary’s sister, then Jesus and John were cousins, and the commendation of Mary to John’s care is in part explained. may mean the mother, daughter, sister, or wife of Klopas; probably the last. According to Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40, Luke 24:10, the Mary here mentioned was the mother of James and Joses. But in Matthew 10:3 we learn that James was the son of Alphaeus. Hence it is inferred that Klopas and Alphaeus are two slightly varying forms of the same name .

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 19:25". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-19.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Now = But.

stood = were standing.

by = beside. Greek. para. App-104.

Mary. See App-100. John omits the name of his own mother Salome, who was there also (Matthew 27:56).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 19:25". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-19.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

Now there stood, [ eisteekeisan (G2476), or 'were standing'] by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas. This should be read, as in the margin, Clopas; the same person, as would seem, with "Alpheus": see the note at Matthew 10:3. The "Cleopas" of Luke 24:18 was a different person.

And Mary Magdalene. These dear women clustered around the cross; and where else should one expect them? The male disciples might be consulting for their own safety (though John was not); but those precious women would have died sooner than be absent from this scene.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-19.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(25) John 19:25-27 relate an incident which is found in St. John only.

Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.—Better, Mary the (wife) of Clopas, as in margin. This Clopas is usually identified with Alphæus. (Comp. Matthew 10:3; Matthew 27:56, and Introduction to the Gospel according to St. Matthew, p. 41) The question arises, Are there three or four women mentioned here?—i.e., Is “Mary the (wife) of Clopas” sister of Mary the mother of our Lord? or does St. John mean by “His mother’s sister” an unnamed woman, who may not improbably be his own mother, Salome, whom he nowhere mentions? The question cannot be answered with certainty; but upon the whole, the balance of evidence inclines to the view that we have four persons here mentioned in two pairs: “His mother and His mother’s sister; Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” As early as the second century, the Peshito Syriac version adopted this view, and inserted “and” after the word sister. (Comp. Notes on Matthew 28:1 and Luke 24:18, and especially the Excursus on The brethren of the Lord in Lightfoot On Galatians, pp. 247-282.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
his mother
Luke 2:35
and his
Matthew 27:55,56; Mark 15:40,41; Luke 23:49
Cleophas
or, Cleopas.
Luke 24:18
and Mary
20:1,11-18; Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2
Reciprocal: Matthew 13:55 - and his;  Mark 9:41 - because;  Mark 16:1 - Mary Magdalene;  John 8:33 - and were;  John 16:20 - That;  Acts 1:14 - with the

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 19:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-19.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

In vers. 25-27, Jesus commits His mother to John. This record is peculiar to the fourth Evangelist: it would seem as if the others regarded it as his property. The question arises, where we are to place the incident; and the most obvious thought is, that it occurred towards the close, as only on the border between life and death would our Lord have committed His mother to any other keeping. Moreover, the μετὰ τοῦτο, in ver. 28, would mean nothing, if the following occurrence were not in immediate connection with that we now consider. But that following occurrence, according to the express remark of John, fell in the near neighbourhood of the Saviour's death. Accordingly, the word which Jesus here addressed to His mother and to John must take the fourth place among the Seven words spoken from the cross: the first, "Father, forgive them;" the second, "This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise;" the third, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" The sacred design in the number Seven will be seen, when it is observed that it is obtained here only by combining the records of the four Evangelists; so that their origin was not due to any artistic arrangement on the part of the several writers. Of these seven utterances, four were spoken in the near approach of His death, and had an immediate reference to it.

Ver. 25. "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene."

According to Matthew 27:55-56, at a certain distance from the cross of Jesus there stood "many women," among whom Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee, are mentioned. Mark, in ch. Mark 15:40-41, names also three women: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses, and Salome; the same therefore, with this only difference, that the name of James has the appendage τοῦ μικροῦ, and instead of the mother of the sons of Zebedee her name is stated. The appendage, "the less," was rendered necessary by Salome being mentioned instead of the mother of Zebedee's sons. There were only two prominent men with the name of James. The elder of these was the son of Zebedee. Thus Matthew, who introduces the mother of the sons of Zebedee, needed not to define more particularly the lesser James. John omits his own mother, the mention of whom would have been somewhat of an interruption in this scene, and substitutes the mother of Jesus, who forms here the centre of all. The two others are identical with those mentioned by the other Evangelists: this we might be led to expect, by the fact that Matthew and Mark certainly named those only who had a certain claim to be distinguished from the rest. The further difference in the order resulted from the mother of Jesus being mentioned first. She could not be otherwise than at the head; and her sister would naturally follow. Thus Mary Magdalene, who in all the other enumerations of holy women takes precedence, must needs have on this occasion the last place.

To Mary the mother of Jesus was now fulfilled the word of Simeon, Luke 2:35, "And a sword shall pierce thy own soul also:" the same sword which, according to the prophecy of Zechariah 13:7, was to smite and pierce the Shepherd of the Lord. Grotius aptly regards her presence at the cross as a prophecy of the Christian boldness which was to be exhibited even by the weaker sex.—"And His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas:" since we have no instance of actual sisters bearing the same name, the sister must be sister-in-law. The term sister is frequently used for near relations: Tobit 8:4; Tobit 8:7; Tobit 7:4, compared with Tobit 7:2; Job 42:11. The designation had its specific reason, probably in the circumstance that after the death of Cleophas the two families were blended into one. The sons of this Mary are recorded by Matthew and Mark as being James and John. Accordingly Mary could be only the wife of Cleophas, which is indeed the most obvious relationship implied in the term. Cleophas is mentioned here only in the New Testament; but he must be identical with the Alphaeus mentioned by Matthew, Mark, and Luke: for James, who in Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40, is called the son of Mary, the wife, according to John, of Cleophas, was, according to Matthew 10:3, the son of Alphaeus; as also according to Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13. The difference is to be explained by the fact that the name was originally Aramaic, and took the form חַלְפַי. Now the ח might be translated variously in the Greek: compare the analogies in the Septuagint, which Gesenius has collected under the letter ח in his Thesaurus. Whether the Cleophas of Luke 24:18 is the same name, may be doubted: it may have been a contraction of κλεόπατρος. If he had been the same man as is mentioned in Luke 6:15, the Evangelist would not in the same Gospel have adopted another Greek name. But if the two names were originally the same, that would be a reason why he should choose another Greek form, in order that personal identity might not be supposed to be implied. Mark 2:14 shows us that the name was a current one: there we have another Alphaeus, the father of Matthew.

We are led to suppose that Cleophas or Alphaeus was already dead, from the circumstance that Mary is everywhere else indicated by her maternal relation. Supposing him to have died early, we can understand how Mary with her sons came into a close relationship with Joseph the husband of Mary, who would represent a father to them.

The James and John of Mark 15:40 can be no other than those whom he had mentioned in ch. John 6:3, and with them Judas and Simon, also therefore sons of Mary. If it was not Mary mother of our Lord, but another Mary, who, according to Mark 15:40, was the mother of these sons, then we must not think, in Mark 6:3, of literal brothers of Jesus, but only of nearest kindred: comp., concerning the brothers of Jesus, the remarks on ch. John 2:12, John 7:3.

Many suppose that four, and not three women, are mentioned here. The (unnamed) sister of the mother of Jesus is supposed to be Salome the mother of John, and Mary wife of Cleophas to be a different person. But that this is a mere learned device, is rendered exceedingly probable by the simple circumstance, that the Christian Church has from the beginning regarded them as three in number. Where, in the earlier Evangelists, a great number of women had been previously mentioned, and then individuals are specified, three, and never four, are alluded to in connection with the cross. Hence we may naturally expect that here also three, and not four, are alluded to. Only on the supposition that Mary wife of Cleophas was the sister of our Lord's mother, can we account for the postponement of Mary Magdalene, who everywhere else takes the first place among the women, as uniformly as Simon Peter takes the first among the Apostles. The καὶ also could be omitted only if there was no ambiguity. It could not possibly have been wanting if a description had preceded which required that the name of the same person should follow to make it clear. If the sister of the mother of Jesus and the wife of Cleophas are two persons, then the former lacks a name, and the latter is introduced without a reason given for the introduction. Nor is there ever given the slightest intimation of a relationship betwixt John and our Lord. The manner in which our Lord committed to him His mother leads to the conclusion, that a relationship of affinity did not subsist between the two. Finally, among the three Marys, here designedly placed in juxtaposition, we are not justified in interposing another, especially such a characterless and indefinite personage as this "sister of the mother of Jesus," about whom neither the earlier Evangelists nor St John give us any the slightest information.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 19:25". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-19.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

25.Now there stood by the cross of Jesus. The Evangelist here mentions incidentally, that while Christ obeyed God the Father, he did not fail to perform the duty which he owed, as a son, towards his mother. True, he forgot himself, and he forgot every thing, so far as was necessary for the discharge of obedience to his Father, but, after having performed that duty, he did not neglect what he owed to his mother. Hence we learn in what manner we ought to discharge our duty towards God and towards men. It often happens that, when God calls us to the performance of any thing, our parents, or wife, or children, draw us in a contrary direction, so that we cannot give equal satisfaction to all. If we place men in the same rank with God, we judge amiss. We must, therefore, give the preference to the command, the worship, and the service of God; after which, as far as we are able, we must give to men what is their due.

And yet the commands of the first and second table of the Law never jar with each other, though at first sight they appear to do so; but we must begin with the worship of God, and afterwards assign to men an inferior place. Such is the import of the following statements:

He who loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me,
(
Matthew 10:41;)

and,

If any one hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, he cannot be my disciple,
(
Luke 14:26.)

We ought, therefore, to devote ourselves to the interests of men, so as not in any degree to interfere with the worship and obedience which we owe to God. When we have obeyed God, it will then be the proper time to think about parents, and wife, and children; as Christ attends to his mother, but it is after that he is on the cross, to which he has been called by his Father’s decree.

Yet, if we attend to the time and place when these things happened, Christ’s affection for his mother was worthy of admiration. I say nothing about the severe tortures of his body; I say nothing about the reproaches which he suffered; but, though horrible blasphemies against God filled his mind with inconceivable grief, and though he sustained a dreadful contest with eternal death and with the devil, still, none of these things prevent him from being anxious about his mother. We may also learn from this passage, what is the honor which God, by the Law, commands us to render to parents, (Exodus 20:12.) Christ appoints the disciple to be his substitute, and charges him to support and take care of his mother; and hence it follows, that the honor which is due to parents consists, not in cold ceremony, (171) but in the discharge of all necessary duties.

On the other hand, we ought to consider the faith of those holy women (172) It is true that, in following Christ to the cross, they displayed more than ordinary affection; but, if they had not been supported by faith they could never have been present at this exhibition. As to John himself, we infer that, though his faith was choked for a short time, it was not wholly extinguished. How shameful will it be, if the dread of the cross deters us from following Christ, when the glory of his resurrection is placed before our eyes, whereas the women beheld in it nothing but disgrace and cursing!

Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. He calls her either the wife or the daughter of Cleophas; but I prefer the latter interpretation. (173) He says, that she was the sister of the mother of Jesus, and, in saying so, he adopts the phraseology of the Hebrew language, which includes cousins, and other relatives, (174) under the term brothers. We see that it was not in vain that Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven devils, (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2;) since she showed hersclf, to the last, to be so faithful a disciple to Christ.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:25". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.