Summary: Mother's Day sermon that was taught by Jesus' last words and actions on the cross concerning Mary.
Behold thy Mother
May 10, 2015
Mother’s Day Message
By Rev. James May
In recent days I have had the personal experience of being reminded just how much my own mother means to me. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of life, we begin to take so much for granted, including the idea that somehow those that we love will be with us forever. We know that isn’t true, yet that’s the way we act.
Some of you here do not have your mother with you on this day. They have already gone to their reward, and there is no doubt that on this day your memories are flooded with the times you had and have lost. Your heart yearns for the day when you will see them again and one of the most happy thoughts you have is when you think of that day when you shall see them again in heaven and you both are healthy, joyful and full of life in that place of perfect beauty and peace.
Those of us who are blessed to have our mothers still around should make sure that we take this day to honor them, and in fact, that’s something we should do all of the time.
This is one of the 10 commandments and it carries with it a promise:
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
I think that it’s a testimony to all mankind of the importance that Jesus placed upon mothers when in his final moments upon this earth before he died on the cross, he noticed his own mother, Mary, as she stood and watched her son dying and could do nothing about it. She knew that this was what Jesus had come to do but that didn’t help ease the pain and heartache and grief that she felt as she stood there.
She knew Jesus was the Son of God, come to die as the Savior of the World, but she was still his mother, and he was her son – her firstborn, and a mother’s love for her children never leaves. Only a mother who has been in that place of losing a child, watching them suffer and die, could begin to understand the sorrow, heartache and sadness of Mary’s heart that day.
As Jesus hung on the cross, after many hours of enduring the most terrible pain that a human can experience, and even feeling the weight of the sins of all men upon his shoulders, and even sensing the momentary darkness and loneliness of separation from the Father in Heaven as the debt of man’s was paid, Jesus still thought of his mother.
The disciple John was also standing near Mary watching Jesus upon the cross. No doubt he tried to comfort Mary, but being in grief himself, I’m sure there was little John could do but stand by and watch it all happen. His own heart was breaking as much as Mary’s because he had a special bond with Jesus and often referred to himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved”. Of course Jesus loved all of this disciples equally, but the love that John had for Jesus was a love that is seldom found between friends in this world. John tells the story in chapter 19.
John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Mary, Jesus’ mother stood in shock, sorrow and silent grief, watching Jesus die. Along with her was Jesus’ aunt Salome, whom many scholars say was Mary’s sister. Along with them stood a second Mary who was the wife of Cleophas, which some say was also Jesus’ aunt on Joseph’s side of the family. And then thre was a third Mary who was Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus had cast 7 demons. Mary Magdalene loved Jesus closer than a brother and had devoted her life to being a disciple because she had firsthand experienced the love and power of God like few had ever done.
John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
John 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Jesus didn’t call out Mary by name, but he meant no disrespect. That was the custom of the day, but on top of that, he certainly didn’t want to single her out in the crowd and announce to this mob that Mary was his own mother. Can you imagine the reaction of the crowd that screamed to have Jesus crucified if they had discovered that Jesus’ mother was there too? No doubt she would have faced the wrath of the mob and been hurt or killed herself. By not calling her name, Jesus seemed to be picking out a stranger in the crowd and no one gave it any notice except for Mary and John.