Summary: Three adults in John’s Gospel are the product of a very dedicated and devout mother. Although never named in the Bible, this mother cast a big shadow.
INVISIBLE, INSPIRING, INSTRUCTING ICON
My Mother’s Day sermon is different from any other one I have preached. Always before, I was able to preach about someone who was alive at the time of the writing of the Scriptures or about someone who knew someone who was alive or served as a model for the author’s writing. Today is different. There is not one shred of evidence in the Sacred Word that the mother of whom I speak today was ever alive except we read about her children. There is no name given to this woman; no information about her is forthcoming from the Bible. We do not know where she lived, what she did for a living, who her husband was, who were her family, her lineage, etc. All we know about her is inferred from her offsprings. In spite of such limited knowledge about her, I feel there is sufficient information found in her children about which we can make some valuable deductions.
If we had just one child upon which to draw forth our supposition about her, it would be risky. Each child in every house is different and it would be hard to paint a picture of this mother by referring to just one of her children. Two children from one household will give a better assessment of the parents but even then the differences between the two issues of the mother will be skewed and the results could be at variance with the intended gathering of pertinent information. However, when we see three children from one mother and these three have similar characteristics, it can be safe to think that some parent had a definite influence upon these three people. In most cases, that parent would be the mother. Hence, it is safe to assume that the three children: Martha, Mary and Lazarus, must have had a good mother and some of these characteristics seen in these three adult children can be traced to their mother. At least this is the supposition of this sermon today.
As I study Martha, Mary and Lazarus, I think I can see the influence of a good mother and these are the things upon which I want to speak for a short time today. The first thing I note about the mother of these three friends of Jesus has to do with this mother’s IDENTITY. The next part of my sermon goes to the three children of this woman, her ISSUES, and I think I can see a well-rounded glimpse of her from her offsprings to make some valid points concerning her. The last part of my sermon then turns to the tremendous IMPACT this woman had on her children, the Bible and the times past and present.
I. IDENTITY: As I previously noted, the mother of these three good adults referred to earlier is an anomaly. Nowhere do the Scriptures even refer to her yet the impact she had on Jesus and the Christian world is phenomenal.
The first thing I note about her description is she seems to be an invisible person. One’s name is very important to each person. Without a name, we are a nobody. The name we have marks us as being different from all else. Even if our name is a common name shared by many others, i.e., Mary Smith, John Brown, etc, yet one’s name marks one as being a real person and we pass through this life with a purpose of being alive. Yet, here in my text, the three adults named had a mother who appears to be an INVISIBLE person. There is no name listed for her; we know not anything about her; we do not know anything of her heritage; nor, do we know anything of her age, the village in which she lived, her means of livelihood-nothing. She seemed to be a person yet she seems to be an invisible soul sailing under the radar of a regularly named person.
Although we know so little about her, what we can assume is that she was industrious. She had three children, at least, and these three turned out to be productive citizens. They had to see someone who was a hard worker in their past for them to be able to acquire the same habit and that person was probably their mother.
She was hard working, industrious, and ambitious. Her house was no doubt clean and neat-look at Martha and her traits of industriousness. She no doubt was a good cook, prepared meals well for her family and her neighbors-again, look at the feast given by Martha and Mary after Lazarus came back from the dead. This no-named mother of three good upstanding adults had a very good upbringing-I doubt if they did it all by themselves. They would have had to have someone in their past to show them by example how to be good people and since several of these traits occur with running a household-I surmise the one person that fits this bill was their mother.