Let’s take a Bible look at a mom and the times in her life when motherhood challenged her and how she handled those challenges.
The mother we are going to use as our guide this morning is the woman God chose to be the mother of His only begotten Son. That’s right; I am referring to none other than Mary the mother of Jesus.
So without further ado let’s begin our adventure through the Word of God by asking the question:
When are mothers most likely to face challenges in life?
In Mary’s case, her life challenges began even before her first Child was born...
1. Mothers face some of their greatest challenges during pregnancy.
a. Luke 2:4-6 tells the story of Mary’s husband, Joseph, and his sudden trip south to Bethlehem. It was a week’s walk for a pregnant woman and Mary seemingly made the trip without complaint.
Luke 4:7 Mary brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
b. Once in Bethlehem their wasn’t even a hotel room available
c. Mary had to deliver the baby Jesus in a stable and had to use rags to wrap her Child and the only place to lay Him was in a feeding trough.
When mothers face challenges during pregnancy – they do whatever it takes to protect their unborn child, keep them safe and make them a home out of whatever they find.
2. Mothers also face some of their greatest challenges during adolescence. That’s the age when their child begins to be a little more trusted to go out and about without the constant watchful eye of a parent. This is the beginning stages of growing up.
a. Luke 2:42-49 shares the account of Mary and her Son when He was 12 years old. This growing Child purposely stayed behind when His mother and family left the big city on their way back home.
b. It was 3 days before His mother and Joseph found Jesus.
c. Jesus was doing what He felt was reasonable but His mother did not share His perspective on the matter at hand.
Luke 2:48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
d. Children sometimes push the envelope when it comes to doing what they think is alright.
e. The scriptures continue the story by telling us that Jesus got up and went home with His Mother and remained in submission to her and as well, she pondered on this matter herself.
When mothers are challenged by their adolescent child they search for a way to reach them and give them firm guidance while realizing that their child is growing up and will one day be making decisions for themselves.
3. Mothers sometimes face challenges by their 20 something year old children. These represent those who are grown but not yet out of the house. Them and their friends make their own decisions but yet they are still living a somewhat dependent life.
a. John 2:3-5 give us a look at Jesus and His friends at a wedding in a town near Nazareth. The wedding host ran out of wine and Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew He could help.
b. But Jesus did not want to help. Perhaps He saw it as a misuse of His abilities or maybe He didn’t want to be recognized as the guy who can turn water into wine.
c. Whatever the concern, Jesus did not want to do it.
John 2:4 Jesus said to Mary, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” (5) His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
d. And the water was turned into wine!
e. Mary didn’t take her Son’s verdict for her decision … and Jesus once again obeyed His mother.
When mothers are challenged by their 20 year old dependent children, they have to be ready to assert themselves and demand respect for a parental decision.
4. Mothers sometimes face challenges with their children who are grown and gone. When a child is grown and gone a mother’s words become counsel and not command. This can be difficult on a mother who always believes she knows what is best for her child.
a. Matthew 12:47-50 gives the account of Jesus during His ministry in the Galilee. Some thought He was the Messiah and others a lunatic. Mary was concerned for her Son and so was the rest of the family.
Matthew 12:47 Then one said to Jesus, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside, seeking to speak with You.”
b. Many believe they simply wanted to take Jesus back home and keep Him from further endangering Himself with the religious leaders.
c. Whatever the reason, Jesus chose to not respond to His mother in the way she hoped. In fact, if Mary had chosen, her Son’s response could have really hurt her feelings.
When mothers are challenged by grown up adult children they must not allow offenses or hurt feelings to drive a wedge between them and their child. Mary was always right there for her Son, even to the end …
5. The greatest challenge any mother can face is the death of her child. For some it is a sudden tragedy and for others an impending haunt that demands a journey to the sudden separation that leaves them so empty.
a. John 19:26-27 records Jesus on the cross after having been violently arrested, wrongfully accused, unjustly sentenced, unmercifully beaten and cruelly nailed to a cross on Mt Calvary.
b. I’m told that some of the last thoughts and words spoken by men who believe they are dying are often about their mothers.
c. Mary was at the cross to be with her Son in His final moments. We cannot fully understand the grief she bore nor the pain of her soul as she watched her Child in agony.
d. Even though she was the mother of the Son of God, she could not understand what was taking place before her very eyes or make any sense of the moment in light of God’s eternal perspective.
26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
e. Jesus spoke to His mother and left His parting words of care and concern for her future … a future she would have to endure beyond the death of her Child.
f. Mary’s life went on … and although she could not change the moment, she kept her trust in God.
When mothers face the death of a child they must continue to put their trust in God for somehow, even without permission, life will go on.
If it were not for mothers not one of us would be alive today. Mothers face many challenges in life. I hope today you will remember your mother with kindness. God commands that we honor our parents. This is His will. Today let’s do this by honoring the mothers all around us.
God bless you moms … we love you and pray that God would continue to give you the grace it takes to put up with the rest of us.