The value of a widow

“Jesus made what is perhaps the most striking statement of the value of a widow when he was dying. Most biblical scholars believe that by the time Jesus reached adulthood, his own mother was a widow. If ever there was a time when a man might be forgiven for failing to notice a widow’s sufferings and tears, surely it was when Jesus was being crucified. Yet right in the midst of being tortured, his heart goes out to her. In an act of exquisite compassion and esteem, the suffering Jesus transfers his responsibilities as her eldest son and protector to his beloved disciple John. To Mary he says, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to John, ‘Here is your mother.’ To which the apostle John adds this tender epilogue, ‘From that time on, this disciple took her into his home’ (John 19:26-27). Jesus’ words reveal God’s heart for women and their significance in his sight.”

Carolyn Custis James, in her book The Gospel of Ruth.


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