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Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy: Jesus loved and honored his mother
Larry Sheehy mug web
Larry Sheehy

"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home" (John 19:26-27).

George Washington said, "All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her."

Abraham Lincoln insisted, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

Today is our national day of recognition for our mothers. Though the Bible says nothing about making it a special day of recognition, it does have a lot to say about our attitude and actions toward women in general and mothers specifically. Paul's comments about the Christian family (Ephesians 5, 6) include his command that children should be obedient to their parents in the Lord, "for this is right" (6:1-2).

I want us to think about some of the things Scripture suggests about Jesus and his view of his mother, as he serves as a model for our behavior in everything.

First, as the previous passage shows, Jesus cared about his mother's welfare in his most painful hour - on the cross. There are relatively few recorded interactions between Jesus and Mary in Scripture, but this one scene helps us understand, as much as any other, his feelings for her.

The Bible gives a few instances that provide clues to their relationship. There can be little doubt that Jesus, like most young men, could remember things that happened between them as he grew up in Nazareth. No doubt he often recalled the distress and irritation of his parents when they found him in the temple courts at the age of 12, "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions" (Luke 2:41). How could he forget the wonder in the eyes of Mary as she "treasured up all these things in her heart" (Luke 2:51)? Certainly he remembered how he had been "submissive to them" as he "increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:51-52).

Early in his public ministry, Mary suggested he do something about the lack of wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and Jesus reluctantly performed his first miraculous sign. Mary's persistence on this occasion may indicate that she was conscious of his special mission and power, even though he wasn't ready to put himself on public display (John 2:1-11).

When Jesus' work caused huge crowds to follow him, Mary and Jesus' brothers "went out to seize him, for they were saying, 'He is out of his mind' " (Mark 3:20-21). In this same general context, Jesus was told that his mother and brothers were looking for him. Jesus replied, "Who are my mother and brothers? Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:34).

At the same time Jesus demonstrated his love and respect for his mother, he also taught the very important lesson that "whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37).

Even though his family struggled with his teachings and actions, Mary's love for Jesus led her to stand near his cross as he was dying for the sins of mankind.

On Mother's Day, and every day, we have an obligation and privilege to honor our mothers.



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