MOTHERS WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

MOTHERS WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

By Henry Nelson

 

 

 

JOHN 19:16-25 “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull . 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others– one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ’The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” Amen!{{more}} This week we will look at three different moms. The protective mom, the instructive mom and the loyal mom. You know you are a Mom when your feet stick to the kitchen floor and you do not care. When the kids are fighting, you threaten to lock them in a room together and not let them out until someone’s bleeding. You cannot find your cell phone, so you ask a friend to call you, and you run around the house madly, following the sound until you locate the phone downstairs in the laundry basket. Your idea of a good day is making it through without a child leaking bodily fluids on you. Your baby’s pacifier falls on the floor and you give it back to her, after you suck the dirt off of it because you are too busy to wash it off. Your kids make jokes about farting, burping, pooping, etc. and you think it’s funny. You are so desperate for adult conversation that you spill your guts to the telemarketer that calls and HE hangs up on YOU! Spit is your number one cleaning agent. You automatically double-knot everything you tie. You spend a half hour searching for your sunglasses only to have your teenager say, “Mom, why don’t you wear the ones you pushed up on your head?” You are out for a nice romantic meal with your husband, enjoying some real adult conversation, when suddenly you realize that you have reached over and started to cut up his steak! Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and it is a day to honor those women in your lives who have made an eternal difference. Maybe it was the woman who gave birth to you, but it also may be an aunt, a sister, or another dear woman who has changed your life for the better. Eve was the mother of all living people who have been and who will be. Her name, “Eve,” means “living.” She was the first mother and the first woman to ever give birth to a child. I wonder if she knew what to expect when it came time for Cain to be born?I wonder if she was afraid of motherhood no one had ever done it before?! I wonder if she knew what an important and influential job being a mother is. I wonder if laundry day or Adam’s forgetfulness of their anniversary or other issues bothered her? Eve had three sons mentioned by name in Scripture: Cain, Abel and Seth. Genesis 5:4 tells us that they had many sons and daughters in their life together, but we focus on these three boys. Cain murdered Abel. Eve is not only the first mother, but also the first mother to lose a child in death. Really, Adam and Eve lost two sons because the other left and wandered the lands. It was through the line of Seth that people began to “call upon the name of the Lord.” Since the time of Eve, it has fallen to mothers to raise their children for the Lord. Our mothers bring us into the world. They nurture us. They provide for us. They raised us up. They teach us. They discipline us. Mother’s have a remarkable ability to change the world through their children. There are other mothers in the Bible that teach us about the influence that mothers have on all of us. The protective mother: Jochebed in Exodus 2:1-4, Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Amen! Moses’ mother, who we find out later is named Jochebed, took great risks to protect her son. Unfortunately, this woman was a slave among a very brutal people. The plan set in place in Exodus 1 was to control the Hebrew people though controlling the male population. The Hebrew people would soon be a stagnate race and Egypt would have total absolute control over them. The problem for the Pharaoh is that the midwives did not obey his command and allowed boys to live and the nation of Israel grew strong in spirit and in number which was the fear of Egypt. Egyptian cruelty did not end, but only continued. Moses mother put him in a basket to protect him. She could no longer hide him and feared that death would come to her son. She placed him in the Nile and trusted God. His sister watched him from a distance and saw his rescue. She even offered “a woman” to be the nurse for the baby and Moses’ own mother became his nanny. Amen! Mothers who make a difference and protect their children in as many ways as they can imagine: They protect children physically and keep us from danger. That is why running with scissors or jumping off the roof or seeing if the cat likes the blender are always a bad ideas. She follows the wisdom of Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12 which says, “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Mothers have protected us morally by teaching us right from wrong. That is why hickeys cause monumental meltdowns, going to church is so important, and manners are stressed and dressed and redressed. Proverbs 23:23-25 shares, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. 24 The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. 25 May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!” Many times they have also protected us emotionally by keeping us from things they knew would hurt us. Mothers are always an emotional shield and want their children to learn lessons before they have to live them. The Apostle Paul knows this about mothers and even describes his ministry in terms of motherhood in 1st Thessalonians 2:6-8 says, “We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” Amen!.Hannah prayed for a son for many years and she endured many years of barrenness. After years of prayer and endurance, God gave her a son and she in turn gave him to the Lord. It was sort of a deal she had struck with the Lord God give me a son and I will give Him back to you. Samuel was taken to the Lord’s house when he was of appropriate age and he was left with the priests to become a servant of the Lord. She continued to support him in the Lord’s work. There is one simple and yet profound lesson that we can learn from the small and important story of Hannah. Hannah was a woman who desperately wanted a child and wanted a child so bad that she made deals with God. I see Hannah as a supportive mother who gave her child over to God. We should give our children to the Lord to use them as He sees fit and we should support our children in doing the Lord’s will. Supportive mothers allow God’s will to run rampant in their children’s lives. It is not easy, but it is necessary. The instructive mother: Eunice in 2nd Timothy 1:1-5. You might ask yourself who is Eunice? I have read all the “Good Women of the Bible” books and all the “Bad Women of the Bible” books and I don’t remember this lady. Is she Jesus’ aunt? It could be because everybody has someone named Aunt Eunice somewhere who wears one of those huge hats with a big ole flower on it and makes the best fried chicken do not you think? Just so you know, the name Eunice peaked in the United States in 1908 and since then has fallen out of favor which is why you probably only have a Great Aunt Eunice or maybe not. Anyway, I digress. Who was Eunice? Eunice was a wonderful mother who changed the world through her children. She was the mother of someone I know you know Timothy. 2nd Timothy 1:1-5 says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Amen!Timothy was a close friend of the Apostle Paul and was one of his chief associates in all of his missionary journeys. Paul relied on Timothy in his ministry. Timothy first joins Paul on his journeys after he visits a city called Lystra and we see him being a faithful friend even in Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. Timothy, along with his mother and grandmother, were Jewish believers who heard about Christ and accepted Him. The faith that was in Timothy was first in his Grandmother and in his mother. They were an example of faith to him. They taught him the scripture. When I think about Timothy, I cannot help but ask one simple question: Mothers and grandmothers; how much time do you spend talking to your children and grandchildren about the Scriptures? They should first hear about God from you. Teach them the songs about Jesus. They should be singing about Jesus before they are singing about Barney or teach them about Jesus. Get them into church. Share in their Sunday School lesson. Too many times women are made to feel that they should apologize for being mothers and housewives. In reality, such roles can be noble callings. When I was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, there were gatherings from time to time to which faculty members brought their spouses. Inevitably, some woman lawyer or sociologist would confront my wife with the question, “And what is it that you do, my dear?” My friend of mine grandmother was one of the most brilliantly articulate individuals I have ever known, had a great response: “I am socializing two homo sapiens in the dominant values of the Judeo-Christian tradition in order that they might be instruments for the transformation of the social order into the teleological prescribed utopia inherent in the eschaton.” When she followed that with, “And what is it that you do?” the other person’s “A lawyer” just wasn’t that overpowering. Mothers are certainly a force of influence in the lives of children.The loyal mother: Mary in John 19:16-25 “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ’The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” Amen! Jesus was beaten. Jesus had been whipped within an inch of His life. Jesus had been spit upon. He was mocked and people gambled to see who would get His clothes. The cross was a gruesome place where the lowest of the low were killed. And yet, here hung the Innocent Divine Jesus. And there, standing by the cross of Jesus was His mother. She was loyal to her son till his death. Mary could have run away like most of the disciples but she did not. Mary could have pleaded for her Son’s life but she did not, she allowed Him to save her. Mary could have done so many different things, but in the end she stood by her Son. Mothers have this wonderful ability that no matter what children do, no matter what they go through they are loyal to their children. Moms do not give up. This of course does not mean that you condone or approve of their sin. Many of us have Moms that could have given up on us but they hung in there and were loyal to us. To the moms who protected us, supported us, instructed us, and were loyal to us I say Thank you! To the young mother’s reading this message this week I say; protect your kids, Support them, and teach them in the Lord. Remain loyal to them. Now you know why real mothers make a difference.