Summary: We can learn a lot about God's heart and about spiritual leadership from the heart of a Mother.
Mothers: Guardians of the Heart
Intro: One mom was out walking with her 4-year-old daughter when her girl picked up something from the ground and started to put it in her mouth. The mother tells what happens in her own words: “I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that.” My daughter quickly asked, “Why?” “Because it’s been lying outside, you don’t know where it’s been, it’s dirty and probably has germs,” I replied. At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, “Wow! How do you know all this stuff?” I thought quickly and said, “All moms know this stuff. It’s on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don’t let you be a Mommy.” We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, as she pondered this new information. “Oh...I get it!” she beamed, “So if you don’t pass the test you have to be the daddy?” I smiled and replied, “Exactly.”
-Bless you moms! You’ve passed the mommy test! We want to honor every woman here today. If you’re over 18, would you please stand so we can celebrate your serving and applaud the impact you have on so many around you? I’m hoping you will be encouraged and affirmed as we look at how important women were, and are, to Jesus.
-When we consider the role of women in the ministry of Jesus, it becomes apparent that He did not hold to the rabbinical teachings of his day. In fact, his ministry represents a break in Judaism in regards to the role of women…Some have called his approach nothing short of revolutionary….Jesus placed a high value on women and saw them as intrinsically equal to men. This was without precedent in contemporary Judaism.
-We see multiple examples of Jesus interacting with women, confusing the crowds and even his disciples. He regularly addressed women, something unheard of for a rabbi. The Samaritan woman (John 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8), the widow at Nain (Luke 7:12-13), the woman with a bleeding disorder (Luke 8:48), and a Gentile woman (Matthew 15:22-28) were all recipients of His care, compassion, and grace. The parables, Jesus’ favorite way of teaching, were filled with positive examples of women (see Matthew 13:33; Luke 18:1-8; Luke 15; and Mark 12:38-44). In fact, Jesus assumes that women would learn and encourages Martha to be more like Mary, who sat at his feet to be instructed by Him (Luke 10:38-42). Whereas the rabbis would rather burn the Law than teach it to a woman, Jesus expected them to learn and apply the lessons He taught. It is important to note that Jesus also held women personally responsible for their own sins (John 4; John 8; Luke 7). (Jeff Williams, unpublished draft of Ordination Paper, May 2006).
-So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at our text today for Mother’s Day, where we can learn some things about the heart of a Mother.
Matthew 27:55-56 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.