Summary: Mother´s day sermon based on two mothers: Hagar vs.Sarah.
Today is mother´s day, so I would like to have a quick look at one very famous biblical family- household of father Abraham. He is called the father of believers, because Jews, muslims and Christians look up to Abraham as the forefather of their faith.
Galatians 3:7 “Those, who believe are children of Abraham.“
That will be probably a good sermon for father´s day, but today we won´t focus on the father, but the mothers in this family
Look at Genesis 21 – there we find this family – father Abraham and his beloved wife Sarah and an Egyptian slave wife Hagar. Hagar borne him a san Ishmael, the father of muslims and Sarah, borne him Isaac, the father of Jews.
Now in Genesis 21:9 we read:
“But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman´s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.“
One father, two mothers and two sons – imagine them to celebrate mother´s day!
However we are not here today to judge or condemn anybody in this family, but we will use the spiritual lesson of this family that even Jesus Christ himself used as a picture of our relationship with God.
We understand the meanings of Abraham´s two sons. Hagar was a slave woman and Ishmael represents the offspring of the flesh, human will – he was the son of Abraham´s will. When God told to 75 years old childless Abram (that is how he was first called) that he will be the father of many nations, Abram wanted to help God to solve the problem of his childlesness and because his wife Sarah was barren he had a child with the slave woman Hagar and thought: This is it! This must be the way of God´s fulfilment of His promises.
But it was not. He was wrong. Hagar and Ishmael represent our human effort; our own solutions to our problems.
Only when God entered into the equation and did a miracle that the childless Sarah concieved and gave birth to a son who was called Isaac, only then Abraham saw how foolish he was. And then he wanted to fix the problem by sending Hagar away. So she became the cast away.
How often do you try to help God to solve the problems that you are facing? How often when you pray you kind of give God suggestions how He should deal with the situation. How silly are so many prayers of God´s children. But that´s us humans.
Now let´s read Galatians 4:22-27
“Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware o what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and is our mother. For it is written:
„Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labor pains;
because more are the children of the
than of her who has a husband.“
This is our mother´s day Scripture. You see, we are so used to call God our Father. And of course He truly is our Father through our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. But when we speak about our faith, we probably never think in terms of motherhood. So it is quite surprising that something is called our spiritual mother. What according to the Bible is our mother?
It is “Jerusalem that is above“.
Heavenly, spiritual Jerusalem, which is free, not bound by law imposed externally, as under the law of Moses, this Jerusalem is our mother, our metropolis, mother city, used allegorically, just as the capital city of a country is “the seat of its governtment, the centre of its activities, and the place where the national characteristics are most fully expressed“.
In the same way Babylon in Revelation 17:5 is called mother of a different kind, as the source from which has proceeded the religious harlotry of mingling pagan rites and doctrines with the Christian faith.
Read John 8:39-59
In this Scripture, where a hefty debate arises about who really is, and who really isn’t, offspring of Abraham. Jesus makes the feisty claim that the yardstick for determining Abrahamic paternity is your response to Jesus. And then gets very nasty as he uses the yardstick: "If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I hear from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what YOUR father does . . . your father, the devil."