Thursday, March 30, 2017

Honor Thy Mother (& Mother-in-Law)

Hey Friend,

Have you ever read a segment of scripture that you've read hundreds of times thinking there's nothing new to glean?  I have, and that's exactly how I approached this scripture on the first miracle where Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding feast.

Will you take another look with me again and let me show you what I was hit with, squarely between the eyes, by the Holy Spirit?  Okay...let's read:

John 2:1-12Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The First Sign: Turning Water into Wine

On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding as well. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told Him, “They don’t have any wine.”
“What has this concern of yours to do with Me,[a] woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour[b] has not yet come.”
“Do whatever He tells you,” His mother told the servants.
Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification.Each contained 20 or 30 gallons.[c]
“Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So they filled them to the brim. Then He said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the chief servant.”[d] And they did........
11 Jesus performed this first sign[e] in Cana of Galilee. He displayed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
12 After this, He went down to Capernaum, together with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples, and they stayed there only a few days.
Take a look at what happens.  Jesus accompanies His mother and his brothers and his disciples to a wedding feast.  The, host, mortified and embarrassed, runs out of wine.
Jesus' mother told Him, "They don't have wine."
Jesus' replies,  "What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman?...My hour has not yet come."
Maybe it's just me, but when I read those words I can envision a defiant toddler or even an insolent teenager.  Is Jesus questioning His mother here?  I'm not 100% sure, but here's the part that gets me - look what comes or doesn't come next.
1.  Mary does not get into a pleading contest with Jesus.
2.  Mary does not reason with Jesus as to why He needs to do something.
3.  Mary does not rebuke Jesus or chide Him.
No, she basically ignores His complaint. I'm no theological scholar, but Mary, the good Jewish mother, basically takes charge - as is a mother's right and honor to do - and she tells the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."  And, in essence, she tells her son...come on, let's get on with it.  Look what comes next??
1.  Jesus does not remind Mary He is the Alpha and the Omega.
2.  Jesus does not argue with His mother.
3.  Jesus does not flat out refuse her command....what does He do?
"Fill the jars with water, "  Jesus told them.....and He goes on to perform the miracle at His mother's direction.  He obeys.
Hmmmmm.......Jesus the Son of God, Creator of the Universe, the Lion and the Lamb, honored his mother.  Wow!
I think of all the times I've disagreed with my mother, muttered under my breath when told to do something, been rude or disrespectful.  Yet the Bible, in the Ten Commandments, specifically tells us to honor our parents.  
1.  Even if we know we're right.
2.  Even if their request is unreasonable.
3.  Even if we disagree or are angry or upset or hurt....honor.
Take this a step further.  What about Mother-in-laws.  Did I hit a sore point? How hard it is to honor a woman who didn't raise you?...perhaps one you feel conflicts with you with regard to your husband...perhaps one who meddles in your business?
My son is twenty-four and has a girlfriend.  There's a part of me that wants to say, "That's it, just step in here after all the hard work's been done and bat those long eyelashes of yours and capture his heart, attention, and affection.
Where were you when he was up puking all night, or when he wet the bed, or when he had to be rushed to the emergency room?"
I know my son will one day take a wife and because he loves her, I will love her too.  I hope that because I am his mother (and if it weren't for me he wouldn't be here) she will honor me as well.
So back to my can I better honor my mother AND my mother-in-law?  
I DO love them both dearly and I'm so thankful to have them.  But, when they have the nerve to be human and do something that gets on my nerves, what do I fall back on? 
1.  God's command to Honor thy mother and father (and look there's even a promise built in):

     Exodus 20:12Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

2.  Look back at the example of Jesus (WDJD) - What did Jesus do?

      I have no better way than to take my cues from Jesus. 
If there ever was someone who had the right to trump his mother's directing, it was Jesus.  But, Jesus chose to follow the example set before Him in the Ten Commandments given by His Father in Heaven so that those who follow them would prosper and have a long life.  
Is it hard for you to honor your mother?  Your mother-in-law?  Have you been hurt and struggle with honoring one who hurt you?  Is it hard to honor people who can be difficult?  or...How have you been blessed in obeying and honoring? How can you model this to your children?  
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the Ten Commandments you have given me - not to make my life harder or more difficult, but because you promise me that you will bless my obedience.  Help me to choose to follow your commands and to take my cues from the life of Jesus.  Grow me, mold me, teach me, Lord that I may be more like Him.  Thank you that Your Word is always alive and living.  Thank you for the new revelations you give me from these ancient teachings.  May Your name be glorified.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Be blessed...
Ps.  Thank you to all my readers who have taken part in our "sCARves for a Cause"  campaign to get a reliable vehicle for our school in the Middle East. Check in on our website in the next week or so to see how this story ends.  On behalf of the Board of Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. 
I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!   Bev xo