In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson established Mother’s Day as a holiday on the second Sunday in May. It was rightful for people like Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia to begin promoting in 1905 the idea of a holiday for mothers. After all, honoring mothers is in the Bible!
In Exodus 20:1-17, Moses revealed the Ten Commandments. Verse 12 says:
“Honor your father and your MOTHER, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
This verse not only establishes an important commandment for each of us but includes a reward—longer life! Wow! So, does this mean that individuals have two benefits: (1) longer life for themselves, and (2) longer life for all the people in a “land” (like the USA) that honored parents? What a great way to improve a country!
Jesus Honored Mothers
Several examples in the story of Jesus’ ministry on the earth show that He honored mothers. First, in Luke, chapter 4, Jesus was in Capernaum of Galilee teaching at a synagogue. He then went to Simon Peter’s home and found Simon’s wife’s mother ill with a high fever. He then stood over her and caste out the fever. She immediately got up and fixed a meal for all in attendance. This was one of several examples of honoring mothers.
The second example was in Luke chapter 7:11-17. He was in the city of Nain when a dead man was being carried out of the city. He was the only son of his mother, a widow. Jesus honored the mother by saying “Do not weep” and then He touched the coffin and said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” Immediately, the man sat up and spoke. This had a great affect on the family but also on all the people, who said “A great prophet has risen up among us—God has visited His people!” What an amazing example of the Lord’s power. Because He gave us the Holy Spirit, there are examples today of raising people from the dead.[i]
The Big Example—Jesus’s Mother
When Jesus was dying on the cross, John 19:25-27 tells us what He said to His mother and to the disciple John. There were four women present at the cross—Jesus’s mother Mary, Mary’s sister (believed to be Salome), Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus looked down and said to His mother, “Behold your son“ then He looked at John and said, “Behold your mother!” Which meant that He wanted John to take care of His Mother. Pastor Brian Simmons commented in his Passion Translation on this verse, that this meant that His mother did not have to travel all the way back to Nazareth alone. She would now have a new home with John’s family. Simmons further suggests that Mary would have been near 50 years old at the time (with Jesus being in His early 30’s and her having married young) and would have been alone in Nazareth. What a great way to honor a mother—provide a helpful new son and a family to provide support.
We are NOT suggesting that we can all do miracles on Mother’s Day, although this could happen! Honoring our mother can be as easy as giving flowers, a small gift, or just by traveling a distance to visit her. Let’s all try our best to honor mothers and fathers and encourage others to do the same. Perhaps it is one more step to bring back the USA (or other nations) to a life of love, joy, and peace.
God bless you all and happy Mother’s Day!
Pastor G. Harold
[i] Documented raisings from the dead come from ministries such as Heidi Baker’s in Mozambique.