6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: First, let me begin by wishing all our moms a Happy Mother Day. As I was thinking about Mother’s Day, it dawned on me God could have populated this world countless ways. We could have all come into this world some other way other than by a mom and a dad.

INTRODUCTION:

First, let me begin by wishing all our moms a Happy Mother Day. As I was thinking about Mother’s Day, it dawned on me God could have populated this world countless ways. We could have all come into this world some other way other than by a mom and a dad. Because God is God, there is no limit to the ways that He could have populated this planet. But God chose family as the best way to do it. So, the day we are born, we are born into a relationship with a mom and dad, a grandma and a grandpa, possibly other siblings and other relatives.

And as Jesus is dying on the cross, interestingly, relationships are on His mind. It shows us just how important relationships are to Christ that He would mention them in His final words. Remember the premise of this sermon series: is that the final words of a person near death are important words, deliberate words, words that we would benefit from by paying carefully attention to. So, it would profit us on this Mother’s Day to hear Jesus’ words about relationships and make some applications to our life.

So, if you have your Bible turn with me to John 19:26-27.

READING

John 19:26-27 (NIV)

26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"

27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Let me set the picture for you. Jesus is hanging on the cross. Mary, his mother, is there watching the scene play out. Most theologians believe prior to this point that Joseph, his father, had died. And so, in the Jewish tradition, it would be the responsibility of the oldest male child to take care of his mother, namely Jesus, and now that He is near death it is His responsibility to make arrangements for her care. And in doing so Jesus teaches us some valuable lessons.

POINT #1

IF JESUS FOCUSED ON RELATIONSHIPS AS HE HUNG DYING FROM THE CROSS, THEN I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD MAKE RELATIONSHIPS A PRIORITY IN OUR LIFE.

You may be saying: Ok, I see how Jesus took care of His mother in His final words. Ok, I see how Jesus valued relationships by thinking about His mother as He was dying, but how do I go about making relationships a priority in my life?

1. DON’T NEGLECT THE IMPORTANCE OF NEEDING A SPIRITUAL FAMILY IN YOUR LIFE.

Jesus places Mary, his mother, with John. Now Jesus had other brothers and sisters but He choses to place Mary in the care of John. John is not a blood relative, but a spiritual relative and Jesus is emphasizing to us He places just as much importance on being spiritual relatives as He does on being blood relatives.

I believe that Jesus is making a very bold statement. In your life you are born with relatives by birth, but once you are born again you have spiritual relatives. You need both physical blood relatives and spiritual relatives to be complete.

As a preacher I hear people tell me all the time, I am a Christian, but I don’t go to church. I get my church on the radio; I get my church on the internet; and I get my church on television. And my response is that you get preaching on the radio, the internet and TV. But you don’t get family. You don’t get relationship. And God is all about family and relationship.

The writer in Hebrew picks upon that in Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)

25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Jesus did not establish a spiritual family just to give us something more to have to deal with; to add one more thing to our busy schedule. There was a survey done by Harris Polls in September 2016 that showed that an average of 72% of Americans deal with the issue of loneliness. I can promise you if you are actively involved with your physical family and you are actively involved with your spiritual family, you will not experience loneliness. For those who experience loneliness, one of those two things are broken.

2. DON’T NEGLECT THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTEMPTING TO RESTORE BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS.

If you remember in Week One of this series, the first phrase Jesus uttered from the cross was: “Father, give them, for they know not what they do.”

Picture in your mind, the scene as Jesus uttered those words: “Father, give them”. Jesus is dying on the cross and right below are these Roman soldiers throwing dice for Jesus’ clothing and Jesus offers them forgiveness. Was the relationship with the Roman Soldiers restored when Jesus offered forgiveness? No, because the Roman soldiers did not ask for forgiveness. They were not interested in receiving forgiveness; they were interested in throwing their dice for his clothes.

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