Here are some interesting Mother’s Day quotes:
- “My kids call it “Yelling’ when I raise my voice. I call it motivational speaking for selective listeners.”
- I’m not an early bird or a night owl. I am some form of a permanently exhausted pigeon.
- You know you are a mom when you understand why Momma Bear’s porridge was cold.
- Silence is golden…unless you have kids, then silence is suspicious.
- Phyllis Diller: I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them!
- Buddy Hackett: My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or Leave it.
- Erma Bombeck: When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” It is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer “yes” or “No.” You are going to get it anyways.
I have a wonderful mother and some very precious memories of when I was a boy at home. Like, for instances, the time I was a little cocky and bragging about how fast I could run. I was probably 12 or 13 years old, and Mom challenged me to a race. We lived in a farmhouse down a dirt road about a quarter of a mile from the highway. So we raced down that dirt road—and she won!
Around that same time I challenged Mom to a wrestling match—and she won again!
I was a little older—probably around 15—when I did something I wasn’t supposed to do and Mom grabbed Dad’s belt to give me a whipping. I wouldn’t let her do it—and I was able to get the belt away from her. Then she told Dad…and I learned it was always better to let Mom give the whippings!
But there was another side to Mom that really challenged me in a good way. One time I did something that was not nice. And I will never forget the look on Mom’s face when she found out. That look of hurt and disappointment made cut to my heart. I learned that my actions really did matter to Mom and I determined I never wanted to hurt her like that again.
Motherhood is not easy. And, yes, there are some mothers who don’t make the grade. But for the most part, Mothers are the best examples of Christ-like love that we know. They love us unconditionally—even when we don’t deserve mercy, they are quick to forgive. And they always want the best for their children.
And that brings us to this passage in Matthew where the mother of James and John ask Jesus for a special favor for her sons. We are not totally positive as to what her name was. But if you study the 4 Gospels and read the names of the women that came to the tomb of Jesus that first Easter morning, it seems most likely that the woman named Salome was the mother of James and John. William Barclay makes the comparison of the accounts and concludes that this Salome was the sister to Mary the mother of Jesus. And if so, then James and John would have been cousins of Jesus. That would explain why their mother would have been so bold as to ask for this special favor from Jesus. After all, she would have been Jesus’ Aunt.
This story reveals a lot about James & John at this point in their lives. The other gospels state that they personally approached Jesus seeking for a place of power in His coming kingdom. And the story reminds us that Jesus did not play favorites or make false promises. He told them that only the Father would make those kinds of appointments.
But on this Mother’s Day, let’s think about the mother—the Wife of Zebedee, the mother of James & John, and possibly the Aunt of Jesus. What does this account reveal about her?
- SHE RECOGNIZED JESUS AS THE COMING KING.
- “…Grant that one of these sons of mind may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom” (Matthew 20: 21). That statement tells me that this mother had settled in her heart that Jesus was King. Otherwise she would have been trying to make one of her sons king.
- Understanding that at this point in her life she may not have reached the point where she understood that Jesus would not be a political king. He would not be raising an army to overthrow the Romans. He would not be establishing himself in a palace in Jerusalem where he would have political appointees to serve in various positions in civil government. This mother may not have understood that King Jesus would have to be crucified and that His kingdom would be in the hearts of mankind as they accepted His death as payment for their (our) own sins. But as much as Salome was able, she knew that Jesus was supreme.
- Whatever else you may think of her in this account, you have to agree that she was looking at the right person to be her king.
- And, Mothers, whatever mistakes and misconceptions you may have about life, like Salome, if you make Jesus supreme in your life, He will help you to more fully understand the significance of that. Jesus wants to be your King, your Lord, Your Redeemer, Your Savior. And when you allow Him that, you are becoming the kind of Mother God intends you to be!
- SECONDLY, SHE WANTED HER CHILDREN TO BE WITH JESUS.
- In that first century Middle Eastern world, there were lots of options for her sons. We know they were in the fishing business. She could have wanted her sons to continue the work in the family business. After all, it seems to have been successful. Or she may have wanted her sons to join up with the Zealots who plotted rebellion against Rome. Or there was a lot of power in Jerusalem circles in both the religious establishment and the civil government. And, after a few years of public ministry, it was obvious that Jesus was more focused on the common people than he was on the riches of the affluent. But Salome recognized that the ministry of Jesus was the best place for her sons to find fulfillment and success. And so, Salome wanted her sons, James and John, to be associated with Jesus. And even more, she wanted them to be at the very center of the work Jesus was doing.
- And, Mothers, isn’t that what every Christian parent wants for his or her child? Whatever else happens in my children’s life, I desire more than anything else that they will be very close to Jesus. Salome had decided Jesus was King. But she wanted her sons to be in positions that would be supportive of the Kingdom over which Jesus rules.
- AND AS ANY GOOD MOTHER WOULD, SHE WANTED THE BEST FOR HER SONS.
- Her request tells me that she believed her sons were capable to fill the positions of power that she was requesting. She believed they had the talents, the skills, the drive, the sense of purpose and direction to be a real asset to Jesus in His kingdom. Doesn’t that sound like a good mother? Don’t all mothers believe their children are capable of doing the very best? And Salome wanted to make sure that her sons had the opportunity to use their skills to their fullest potential. And, as a good mother, she was willing to do whatever she could to see they had that opportunity. So, she personally approached Jesus to make her request.
- And I believe that any good Christian Mother would and should be approaching Jesus regularly on behalf of her children! We are told in the Old Testament how Job regularly offered sacrifices on behalf of his children –just in case they had sinned. (Job 1: 5). And we read how Hannah pleaded with God for her son and when Samuel was born she gave him to God’s priesthood and regularly brought support to him, bringing him clothes and I’m sure other necessities because she wanted him to have what he needed as a man of God. And what about the other mothers in the Bible—Sarah who cared for Isaac. Rebekah who looked out for Jacob, and Elizabeth who had John in her old age, and Mary the Mother of Jesus who “Pondered those things in her heart” pertaining to prophesy about her son’s future. And there were many more mothers in the Sacred Pages who sought to take care of their children and provided for them the best they could.
- Salome, the mother of James and John, was only guilty of wanting the very best for her sons. Who could fault her for that?
- Today, we honor Mothers because of that quality in motherhood that sacrifices her own needs in order to see that her children have the best that life can offer. So it is right to honor this mother who sought favorable and high positions in the Presence of Jesus for her sons.
- Illustration: No one deserves a special day all to herself more than today’s Mom. A cartoon showed a psychologist talking to his patient: “Let’s see,” he said, “You spend 50 percent of your energy on your job, 50 percent on your husband and 50 percent on your children. I think I see your problem.” –Source Unknown.
Salome, the mother of James and John had already in her heart made Jesus King. Is Jesus King in your life?
Salome more than anything else wanted her sons to be with Jesus. Is that the desire your heart this morning for your children, your grandchildren, your family?
Salome was willing to do whatever was necessary to give her sons the best chance in life. Are you willing to sacrifice for your children that way?
Dr. G. Campbell Morgan had 4 sons and they were all preachers. Someone once came into the drawing room when all the family was there. They thought they would see what Howard, one of the sons, was made of so they asked him this question: “Howard, who is the greatest preacher in your family?” Howard had a great admiration for his father and he looked straight across at him and then without a moment’s hesitation he answered, “Mother.”
–A. Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Eerdmans, p. 139.
Mothers: So live your lives so that your children will know that Jesus is King of your life. And may your children hold places of honor in God’s kingdom!