What’s the Best Way to Honor Godly Mothers?
Luke 1:26-45, John 2:1-11, John 19:25-30
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 13, 2012
(Revised from Sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church - May 9, 2010)
*Please open your Bibles to Luke 1, thinking about the best way to honor Godly mothers. In this wonderful chapter, God sent the Angel Gabriel to give an amazing message to the Virgin Mary. Listen to the heart of Gabriel’s message starting in vs. 30:
30. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
32. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
*Now to see this Godly mother’s response, let’s read vs. 34-45.
*Where would we be without Mom? -- First of all, we wouldn’t be without mom! And that’s just the start. So today we give special honor to Mom. Thank God for the mothers in your life: that means your grandmothers, your own mom, the mother of your children, and the mothers of our church. Thank God for moms! Especially thank Him for Godly moms.
*What is the best way to honor Godly mothers?
-It’s not through a special gift or card on Mother’s Day, though I hope you had the good sense to do that. The best way to honor a Godly mom is by living a Godly life, and the Lord’s own mother shows us what to do.
1. First: Follow their faith.
*The Lord’s mother showed great faith in the Scripture we just read. There she was minding her own business, when out of the blue the angel Gabriel appeared to her. Mary was terrified. Who wouldn’t be? -- So the angel tried to calm her fears. But then he gave her the miraculous message that she was to be the mother of the Messiah!
*And starting in vs. 34:
34. Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?''
35. And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
36. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
37. For with God nothing will be impossible.''
38. Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.'' And the angel departed from her.
*In the New Living Translation, Mary says: "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true."
*Mary’s great faith shows up 3 ways in this verse.
 First, she had the faith to serve God, "I am the Lord’s servant."
 Mary’s faith also showed up in her acceptance of God’s will: "Let it be to me according to your word." She had the same attitude Jesus had on the night before the cross, when the Lord said: "Father, not my will, but Thy will be done."
*You see, it was not going to be easy for Mary to go through a pregnancy with no human father for her baby. Who was going to believe that her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit? Mary was in for ridicule and trouble, but she was willing to be obedient to God.
 Mary also had the faith to trust in God’s Word, so she said, "May everything you have said come true." -- "Let it be to me according to your word."
*Mary was saying, "Lord, I trust you! Even if you tell me something that seems impossible, I will trust you." This is why Elizabeth praised her cousin in vs. 45, saying: "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."
*Mary had strong faith, contagious faith, the kind of faith worth following.
*After one of the battles of the Civil War, a chaplain came to see a man who did not have much time left to live. He took the young soldier's hand and said, "Brother, what can I do for you?"
*The dying soldier replied, "I want you to kneel down and give thanks for me." It was an unusual request from someone who was dying. "Give thanks for what?" the chaplain asked. "Give thanks to God for my mother. Thank him that because of her I am a Christian. What would I do now if I were not a Christian?" (1)
*The best way to honor Godly mothers is to follow their faith.
2. But also walk in their wisdom.
*Mary shows great wisdom to us in vs. 39-40:
39. Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40. and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
*When Mary heard the astounding news from the angel, the first thing she did was go to Elizabeth. Why did Mary do that? -- Because Mary had the wisdom to know that Elizabeth was in a sense going through same thing. Mary had the wisdom to know that Elizabeth was a Godly woman. And Mary had the wisdom to know that she needed help from her older cousin.
*It’s not always easy being a mom (or even a mom-to-be). And moms need help. But so do dads, sons, daughters and friends. Sometimes we all need help. And in those times, don't cut yourself off, don't isolate yourself. That’s the worst thing you could do.
*Mary shows us the wisdom of getting help from Godly people who care. But another great place to see her wisdom is in John 2:1-11. Listen to the story from the New Living Translation:
1. The next day Jesus' mother was a guest at a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee.
2. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.
3. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus' mother spoke to him about the problem. "They have no more wine," she told him.
4. "How does that concern you and me?" Jesus asked. "My time has not yet come."
5. But his mother told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
6. Six stone waterpots were standing there; they were used for Jewish ceremonial purposes and held twenty to thirty gallons each.
7. Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled to the brim,
8. he said, "Dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies." So they followed his instructions.
9. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.
10. "Usually a host serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone is full and doesn't care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best until now!"
11. This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus' first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
*In vs. 5, Mary gave the wisest advice anyone can ever give! "Whatever Jesus Christ tells you to do, -- Do it!" This is the best advice, because if Jesus tells you to do something, it is always the best thing to do.
*Whatever Jesus tells you to do, do it, even if Jesus doesn’t seem to care, like when He first answered His mother. Whatever Jesus tells you to do, do it, even if you don’t understand it. "What? Fill these water pots up? How is that going to get us more wine?"
*But they did do it. Those servants obeyed as much as possible, as soon as possible. In vs. 7&8, they filled those water pots up to the brim, and they carried a taste to the master of the wedding feast. That is why they saw the Hand of God at work in a wonderful way. And so will we.
*We need to be like those servants and do God’s Word.
-When Jesus says, "Go." We need to go.
-When Jesus says, "Take up your cross." We need to take up our cross.
-When He says to love, we need to love.
-When He says, "Trust me." We need to trust in the Lord with all our heart.
*I hope your mother had the wisdom to say, "Whatever Jesus tells you to do, do it." The best way to honor Godly mothers is to walk in their wisdom.
3. But also stand with the strength of their love.
*Jesus’ mother was there at the cross. John 19:25 simply says: "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."
*Most of the disciples had already scattered, but Mom stood by the cross. That was a mother’s love. There’s nothing quite like it. And we know that some mothers don’t love, because they have been twisted or broken by abuse or by their own sin. But even in this fallen world, most moms love beyond measure!
*God designed mothers for love, so they are special providers. Moms give us a warm, safe place to grow strong enough to be born. Then they do an astounding number of things that we take for granted most of the time.
*This mom’s poem gives us a small example:
"Some may climb Mt Everest, in search of thrills galore,
But I scale peaks that rival it, just past the laundry door:
Slopes of socks and underwear, sheer cliffs of shirts and pants.
Oh, yes, I live in mortal fear of a laundry avalanche." (2)
*Godly moms do countless things to lovingly care for their families. And they stand by to help us even after we grow up. As James Hewett once said, "I finally found a Mother's Day card that expressed my feelings for my mother in real terms. It said: 'Now that we have a mature, adult relationship, there's something I'd like to tell you. You're still the first person I think of when I fall down and go boom!'" (3)
*God designed mothers for strong love, so they are special providers, and special protectors.
*Don’t get between a mother bear and her cubs. Moms can be tough! King Duncan reminds us of this truth in a story he tells about a new police recruit. This young man was taking the exam, and one of the questions asked: "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?" -- That young man answered: "Call for backup!" (4)
*Moms can be tough, especially when they are going to bat for their children. Mom will make the greatest sacrifice for you. Mom will stand by you when the whole world turns its back.
*God designed mothers for that kind of love. And it is a reflection of His love for us. So in Matthew 23:37, Jesus cried out for Jerusalem and said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!"
*Jesus has the love that will stand by us forever. That's why in Hebrews 13:5, the Lord said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." This is the kind of love we see in most mothers. This is the kind of love God wants to see in us. And the best way to honor Godly mothers is to stand with the strength of their love.
4. But also help them when they hurt.
*Sometimes moms hurt.
*Joe McKeever said: "My granddaughter was the one who reminded me of this. I was pushing my 8-year-old granddaughter Abby in the swing in her front yard, our favorite place. She and her twin Erin had been learning about childbirth from their mother.
*Abby was not liking what she was learning. 'I’m not going to have children, Grandpa,' she said. 'It hurts too bad.'
*My first thought was to say, 'If your mother felt that way, you would not be here. And if your great-grandmothers felt that way, none of us would be here.' But what I said was, 'You’re right. It does hurt. But the pain goes away, and you’re left with this beautiful child, and you decide that it was worth it.'
*The child looked me square in the eyes and said, 'You’re a man. What do you know?' After picking myself up off the grass, I laughingly admitted she was exactly right. All I know on this subject is what I’ve been taught."
*Then Joe said, "Let us admit the obvious here: This is one experience where we men are on the outside looking in. We men are out of our league trying to assess what mothers go through and the challenges they face." (5)
*But men, we do know that moms hurt. And there at the cross, Mary suffered a mother’s greatest hurt: The death of her child. I believe that if she could have taken the Lord’s place on that cross, she would have. But Mary couldn’t take His place.
*The truth of it is that Jesus was taking Mary's place. He was dying on the cross for her too, because Mary was a sinner just like us. So she stood at the foot of the cross, broken hearted, watching as her son suffered in agony and died.
*Moms hurt, but when they hurt we can try to help them. Jesus is our model for this. And it is most impressive that even as the Lord suffered for our sins, He still cared about His mother’s hurt. Even on the cross, Jesus took care of His mother.
*And we read this in John 19:26-27:
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.
*Jesus knew that Mary would need special help over the next 3 days. The Lord also knew that Mary would need help after He rose from the dead and returned to Heaven.
*Jesus told Mary and John, "Behold your son! -- Behold your mother." Those words had the force of a last will and testament. Jesus knew that John was the best person to give Mary the care she needed. And from that hour she lived in John’s home. (6)
*Jesus cared about His hurting mother:
-Speaking from the cross, He cared about her everyday needs.
-Suffering on the cross, He cared about her everlasting needs.
*In those dark hours, Mary must have wished for her son to come down from the cross. But the best way that Jesus ever helped His mother was by staying on the cross. The best way that Jesus ever helped His mother was by dying on the cross for her sins! And this is the best way He has ever helped us.
*So in vs. 28-30 we read:
28. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!''
29. Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.
30. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!'' And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
*Jesus did the absolute best for His mother, and for us.
*What’s the best we can do for Godly mothers?
-Follow their faith -- Put your trust in the Lord!
-Walk in their wisdom -- Whatever Jesus tells you to do -- do it!
-Stand with the strength of their love.
-And do whatever you can to help them when they hurt.
*Let’s go to the Lord in prayer.
(1) Adapted from Knights Illustrations p 421 - (Found in: Cross and Crown Sermons "A Mother Teaches Her Children" by James McCullen - 2 Tim 1:5-8)
(2) SermonCentral sermon "Mary A Model of Motherhood" by Steve Malone - Luke 1:26-38
(3) James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 382. (Found on Bible Illustrator for windows - Topic: Motherhood Subtopic: Cares of Index: 4073 - Date: 71996.1251 Title: All Grown Up)
(4) Sermons.com illustration in 050904 email
(5) Adapted from SermonCentral article "Your Mother’s Day Sermon, Pastor" by Joe McKeever - 2010
(6) Original source unknown, but see "Final Words of a Family Man" by Ray Pritchard - 04141991 - John 19:25-27 - Jesus’ Last Will and Testament