12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12, NIV)
16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16, AMP)
On Sunday, May 12, 2018, we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a day set aside to honor the mothers of the world and all that they do for their children. It is a day to give back to them. As Christians, we are commanded to honor, to respect our parents, always! We should do this everyday, however there is nothing wrong with showering mothers with extra attention on their special day! Twice in the Books of Law, Moses reminds the Israelites of the importance of honoring their parents! Obviously, this was an important action before the Lord!
The commandment to honor our parents was not forgotten outside of the Law. There are numerous references scattered throughout the Old and New Testament to showing respect towards one parents. What better example than Jesus Christ’s own words?
4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. (Matthew 15:4-6, NIV)
In this passage, Jesus was calling out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. The Pharisees held the Jews accountable for following the Law, which included honoring one’s parents. Children, specifically the first son, was to provide for his mother, should her husband die. It was part of obeying the law. Yet the Pharisees approved of men taking the money which would have been used to provide for their mothers and instead giving it to God, through the Temple, through the Pharisees. Which action is more honorable to the Lord? Jesus clearly tells us. He also shows us.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “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. (John 19:25-27, NIV)
Jesus was doing the Lord’s work; dying on the cross for our salvation. The pain He was in is something we cannot imagine. Yet, in the midst of His pain and suffering, He continued to honor His Father, by caring for His mother. Jesus was Mary’s first Son. It was His responsibility to care for her (many scholars believe that by this time Joseph had died, as he is not mentioned). Jesus knew that He would no longer be able to care for Mary on Earth, so he passed on the responsibility to a trusted disciple. What an example Jesus set!
Although the holiday of Mother’s Day may be recent, the idea behind it, honoring your mother, is far from new. This Mother’s Day take time out to honor and celebrate your mother and all that she has done for you. But do not let it end there! Continue to honor her everyday!
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