God often chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. And the weak things of the world to shame the strong. If the weak and foolish are faithful, how much more shameful is it that the wise and the strong are rebellious to the King. It is the faithfulness of the lowly and despised that God uses to rebuke those who should know better.
We can see this dichotomy well in 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.
In this verse we read “Therefore the soldiers did these things.” What things? They had mocked Jesus Christ. They stripped him of his clothes leaving him shamefully exposed. They then piddled around with his clothes, playing a game of chance for his tunic. These men were soldiers. They are hard. These are men who know how to wield a weapon. They have seen their fair share of violence. They are well-trained fighting machines. We wouldn’t call them effeminate. Yet, here are these battle-hardened men fiddling with trinkets as the Creator God in the flesh hangs on the cross. This is the central point, the center stage, of all of history. The King of the Universe is before them and these men are fighting over used clothing. They are consumed with a desire for earthly garb rather than being consumed with faith in the Son of God and a passion for justice.
John 19:25 says "therefore the soldiers did these things BUT…" The word "but" is used to contrast what came before with what comes after. "But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."
Men who should protect and fight for justice are consumed with trinkets and partake in the grossest injustice of the word but standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. What you see here are the tender affection of these pious women to our Lord Jesus in his sufferings. When all his disciples, except John, has forsaken him, they stood by his cross. These dear faithful women are standing by the cross.
There is a sharp disparity between the strength of soldiers and weakness of women in this verse. The soldiers, Pilate, the Jews, and even the apostles who fled are disgraced by the faith of the women. While Jesus hangs naked exposed to the shame of the world, God uses the weak to shame the strong.
God graciously bestowed honor on the women here in this passage by having them at the cross. Women faithfully serving God as women not usurping what God has called them to is glorious. And God uses it to shame the men. There are precious women who faithfully serve God looking to the cross, treasuring Jesus Christ, and pouring out tears of love on him while too many men are content to tinker around with the things of this world.
Men, let us not be these Roman soldiers, strong on the outside but inside weak and pathetic good for nothings who play games while eternity hangs in the balance. Don’t be content to trifle with trinkets while the true treasure is near. Let us not be put to shame while women and children are faithful to God.
Dear God, give us repentance now for having ever been contempt playing with junk rather than serving your son.
Sunday 10:30 AM