The inbox on my computer is filled each morning with ads selling what “every mom wants.” Sunday is a big day for a lot of us. After all, where would we be without our moms?
Preachers in every pulpit will bring up the point that we are commanded to love and honor our parents. I bet very few, if any, will bring up what Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew, chapter 10. In fact, most preachers would get in trouble this Sunday for quoting Jesus!
What is the Mother’s Day message you will probably never hear on Mother’s Day?
First, the setting . . .
Jesus was sending his disciples out to various places to share their message. He told them not to bring supplies or food and to simply go to the homes of fellow Jewish believers. Their mission was to tell their Jewish kinsmen that Jesus was their long-awaited Messiah.
Matthew 10 contains verses we know but rarely live out. Jesus said, “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town” (Matthew 10:13–14).
Afterward, Jesus warned them that they were going to encounter all types of persecution, even incarceration and abuse. He then gave them the key to their ministry, and these words remain the key for preaching, teaching, and evangelism today. Jesus said, “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19–20).
(A Mother’s Day parenthesis)
This is a Mother’s Day blog post, but I can’t let those verses get lost along the way! If you need to, please reread Matthew 10:19–20. Those verses changed my life and my ministry, and I want to share them with you today.
The biblical key to doing your ministry with the Lord’s strength and purpose is to know, with great confidence, this truth: “It is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
Our words might influence people, but when the Lord speaks through us, his words will transform people’s lives. Don’t worry about what to say, worry instead about how to get your own words out of the way and allow Jesus to speak through you. Okay…back to Mother’s Day.
Matthew 10, continued.
I will sum up the key points of Jesus’ instructions to his disciples:
- Go share your message, and by the way, it’s going to be rough.
- Expect persecution in almost every city.
- Don’t worry about what to say, God will speak through you.
- You will make people mad, including your families and friends.
- Don’t be afraid that they might kill your body because they can’t kill your soul (I wonder if any of them mumbled, “that’s not all that comforting Jesus”).
- Don’t forget that God has the hairs of your head numbered and values you more than you can imagine.
- “I didn’t come to bring peace to the earth, but to bring a sword.”
- I have come to turn one family member against another.
- Some of your greatest enemies will be in your own household.
Matthew 10 is not the typical Mother’s Day message but keep reading; we will get there!
And now . . . the verse that will never be found on a Hallmark card or Mother’s Day order of service.
After Jesus told his disciples all of that, he said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
So much for the roses and reservations! So much for the 1001 gifts that every mom wants. But, don’t worry, there is a great truth in this teaching of Christ that could be the message you need this Mother’s Day.
Our culture has tended to make family more important than we should. Yes, I did just say that!
God ordained and created the concept of family. We are commanded to honor our parents, and the Bible makes it clear that our obedience is key to maintaining a godly character and witness. Jesus wasn’t teaching his disciples that family isn’t important; he was teaching his disciples that family wasn’t most important.
If we honor anyone, including our family members, at a higher level than we honor God, we make that person an idol. We give them more power in our lives than we give God. We keep them from knowing their need to honor God as they should. Our highest priority with anyone, including our family, is to help them know and love Jesus so they can be worthy of his saving grace. If our family is an idol, we will place a stumbling block in their lives that could trip them up. Their eternal lives should be a higher priority to us than their lives on earth.
Moms need more than your love.
I hope Mother’s Day will be a great blessing for you and yours. I hope you make it to the buffet before they run out of shrimp. I hope the roses live past Thursday. I hope the perfume is your favorite, and the pajamas fit.
Mostly I hope this Sunday will be a powerful day of worship as we honor Moms. For those of you who read this blog post, I hope you will remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 10 and allow them to change your worship this Sunday as you consider Jesus the One we are called to honor the most. We want to be worthy of Christ and we want to help others, especially our families, to know Jesus is the Messiah, our King.
Happy Mother’s Day – may it be filled with the joy of the Lord.