Come and See His Mother
This is the third sermon in our current series, “Come and See…a study on the life of Jesus”
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In this post we are going to look at Jesus’ mother, Mary. We all know the significance of having a godly mother. The impact that they have on our lives and their ability to juggle so many things to keep our families going is truly impressive. In fact, I was thinking just the other day; if evolution is true, how come mothers still have only two hands?
Mary was called by God to her task. She was called to raise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. How can any parent compete with that? Well, if you think about it, God calls every parent to raise “Joint Heir’s” of Jesus Christ. So, in this post I want you to “Come and See” three lessons that you can learn from this amazing woman.
First, a godly mother submits completely to God’s will.
When Mary was a teen-ager, she was visited by Gabriel and given the stunning message that she was to be the mother of the Messiah.
Luke 1:34-38 says, “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”
To accomplish her task, she had to trust God’s call on her life. Being engaged to be married and being pregnant in that culture was a real challenge, regardless of the circumstances. She was looking forward to a normal life and then she was told that her life would be anything but normal. It took courage and character. But God is not going to call you to a task that He doesn’t give you the strength to accomplish. When she heard the news she said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word in me be fulfilled.” That should be an example to all of us.
If you think about it, Mary never wavered from her complete submission to God’s calling on her life. I’m sure she was nervous, and unsure of her own ability to carry out the task. Who wouldn’t be? She must have been anxious thinking about what the future would hold.
Can you recall a time in your life when you “Had it all worked out” and then you received news that radically changed your circumstances? That’s hard, especially without a lot of life experience, which Mary didn’t have yet. Once it all settled in, I’m sure Mary was like a lot of mothers; ready for the task but not quite sure how to do it. But she knew that in order to accomplish her call she needed to keep her heart and mind focused on God. She never allowed anything else to take priority in her life. And that made her a mother worth imitating.
Second, a godly mother doesn’t have to be perfect.
Now, I know that in some church traditions they teach that Mary was sinless and perfect, but let me assure you that Mary was not perfect. Mary was a mom – a great mom – but still, she was an imperfect mom.
That’s great news when we think about our own imperfections. I think all of us have stories like Linda Huckins, of Malden, Massachusetts.
On the day her daughter got married Linda went to the front of the church to light one of the three candles. As she tells it, “Not realizing the potential hazard, I got too close and set my acrylic nail on fire. Trying not to ruin my daughter’s big day, I calmly lit the candle from my flaming nail and then, like a gunslinger with his six-shooter, I blew it out. Needless to say, my blackened nail was the talk of the reception!” *
Despite the fact that she was the mother of Jesus, Mary wasn’t perfect! She had her “flaming nail” days. Mary was a real person and made mistakes. The Proverbs 31 woman is a beautiful poetic example of qualities to strive for, but she’s an ideal to strive for, not a real person.
Have you ever lost your child thinking someone else was watching them? So did Mary. We were in Disney World a few years ago and we heard a frantic mom calling for her lost child. Every mom in ear shot responded. The dads watched their own kids and the mom’s all focused on finding the lost kid, which they did. There was no judgement in their eyes, just relief…Why? Because it happens to all of us. No parent is perfect.
Matthew 12:46-50 proves that point: “While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to his questioner, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mary mistakenly tried to interrupt him, while he was speaking. His brothers never really accepted who He was until after the resurrection and in this situation, Mary was influenced by them and tried to temper what Jesus was teaching. As a parent, you’ve made mistakes in the past and you’ll make more in the future. Through it all, God will continue to love you, and help you become the person you were designed to be. In the end, if you focus on His will, your task of mothering will be accomplished.
Third, a mother called by God never relinquishes the title.
John 19:25 says, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother …”
Mary didn’t stand stoically and passively by at the foot of the cross, as if she were watching some play unfold. She crumpled beneath the cross.
On the day Jesus was crucified, He suffered most, but I’m sure Mary was next in line. Her heart was broken, her emotional pain was inconsolable. The cross cut deep into her heart. But despite the pain, Mary was there. She was a mother from beginning to end. A mother called by God never relinquishes the title. You’ll find mothers like that in the halls of children’s hospitals, in funeral homes and in prisons. Mothers never relinquish the title, even if the child is rebellious, or cruel because they are called by God. Mary had a chance to see God’s entire plan play out. She suffered through the crucifixion and celebrated the resurrection.
Mary wasn’t perfect, but she followed the will of God, and by doing so she set an example that each of us can follow today.
* Linda Huckins, Malden, Massachusetts. “Rolling Down the Aisle,” Christian Reader.