Today is a very special day in the good old USA, today is Mother’s Day.
In the beginning of time as we know it, God created the heavens and the earth from things which did not exist as far as our human understanding can imagine. After God spoke the world into order and created the sky and the dry ground, the mountains and streams, the animals and birds and fish, He then made man in His own image and placed them in a garden paradise which He had planted for them and established laws to govern the universe for all time.
Since Adam and Eve, God has limited life as we know it to only be possible through the process of birth. One living organism gives life to another. In as much as we can understand, life begins because some other life of like kind spawns it. Allow me to cut to the chase this morning and simply say that nothing is born of itself. Life begets life. Everything and every person born has a mother. This is the good law of life.
God gave further instructions to mankind concerning how we should honor those who gave us life. The pivotal commandment in the 10 Commandments says:
Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God has given you.
2000 years ago Jesus made it a point to repeat this command saying that it was the first commandment to which God had attached a promised blessing. Jesus was well aware of this command for even He, the Son of Almighty God and ruler of the universe, was not born without a mother to whom He gave great honor and lifelong respect.
Today we are going to survey three passages in the New Testament which show some varying aspects of motherhood and a mother’s impact in the life of her children whether or not they are her biological offspring. Our first passage comes from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 1.
Note: (Provide the setting into which Mark 1:29-31 fits in story form so the congregation can understand this verse its implication and context.)
Mark 1 NKJV
29 ¶ Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Brief Commentary: (Note here that Peter was a married man when Jesus first called him to be a disciple. We aren’t told anything about Peter’s biological mother however we are told that Peter had a wife whose mother lived with them – or them with her as it may better be understood. When God first created Eve, Adam said, this is now flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone … for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they two shall be one flesh. In other words, all that we both are as two individuals, when we get married, we are made one together. This includes the embrace of parents and siblings. Peter’s wife’s mother was now as much to be honored and cared for by Peter as would if she had been his own biological mother. The honor and respect due Peter’s mother was the same respect now due his mother-in-law.)
The second mother we will consider this morning comes from a verse in the last chapter of the book of Romans. When the Apostle Paul was concluding this inspired letter he thought to include salutations to his dear friend Rufus. Carefully listen to what Paul says in respect to his mother.
Romans 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
Brief Commentary: (Rufus and Paul were not biological brothers and the mother of Rufus was not Paul’s biological mother. Nonetheless Paul counted this woman as a mother. Whether she adopted Paul or Paul adopted her, it is plain she played a critical role in the life of this Apostle of faith. Everyone needs a mother and it is of little doubt that this woman met the dynamic needs we all have in the life of Paul to be mothered and in turn Paul honored her.)
The third passage we will survey before concluding our Mother’s Day message today comes from Second Timothy. Paul writes Timothy to acknowledge the impact a mother and a grandmother has on children.
2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
It is clear from the scriptures that Peter, Paul and Timothy understood the crucial role mothers were designed and equipped to play in each of our lives. Mothers are mentioned by direct reference more than 300 times in the Bible. Some led their children in the right way and some in the wrong. Without respect as to whether these women were:
· Biological mothers
· Adoptive mothers
· Spiritual mothers
They all, each and every one, had a greater influence on their children than other people in their lives.
Neither Mother’s Day nor the 6th Commandment however, is about how a mother should treat their child … Today and every day, according to the Bible, is about how each one of us should treat our mother.
Honoring your mother, without regard as to how she became your mother, is the measure of God in you.
I want to obey and please my Heavenly Father and I know that nothing pleases Him more than for me to honor those women who fill that special place in my life called motherhood. (Mother’s Day is not Lady’s Day – Women have mothers too!) Ladies – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, just as you also thank your moms … God bless our mothers.
Won’t you stand for prayer …