Next time you are tempted to berate your mother, take a moment to think about what being a mother is all about. Think of all the highs and lows, successes and failures, joys and sorrows, blessings and sacrifices, pleasures and disappointments that are part of each mother’s life in one form or another - all because they love their child.
Imagine being the mother of John Wesley or Jack the Ripper, Abraham Lincoln or Adolf Hitler, Florence Nightingale or Rahab the prostitute, or even Jesus Christ Himself. A mother’s love can be a source of great rejoicing or agonizing grief, just because she loves her child with everything she’s got. Even if we are not mothers, we all have some understanding of the vulnerability that comes with loving someone with all our hearts. We give them permission to reach the tenderness within, and there is a risk they will end up wounding us. And yet, to try to protect ourselves by not loving is to become less than human.
In this article, I will briefly focus on the highs and lows that were part of being the mother of Jesus. While we could talk about the joys and the anxieties she felt in those early years when she became pregnant, gave birth in a stable, and fled to Egypt as a refugee; or we could talk about the stress she felt when Jesus went missing, only to find Him in the temple and be reminded that His destiny went way beyond being her firstborn son; we could even talk about the time when she tried to see Jesus (along with his brothers), only to hear Him say, “Who is My mother and My brother? Those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:19-20).
Rather, I have decided to focus on TWO brief conversations between Jesus and His mother. The first is early in His ministry, when they were invited to a wedding at Cana. The second is at the very end of His ministry, when she stood beside Him as He hung on a cross, in agony, as a condemned criminal.
Read John 2:1-12
Mary looks to Jesus for a solution to a wine shortage at a wedding they attended but, she is reminded that He is now about His Fathers business and His Fathers priorities, and His Fathers timing. Her response: “WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU, DO IT.”
In the scheme of things, a shortage of wine at a wedding seems trivial – and it is – but Jesus takes action and the results far exceed anyone’s expectations. We must all put the Kingdom first, but sometimes the little things are a perfect illustration or demonstration of bigger truths. And, like Mary, we need to be open to whatever He might like to say – even through small things.
When Mary said, ‘WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU, DO IT’ she was giving us the best advise possible.
Read John 19:17-27
Mary courageously – and with great anguish – stayed with her son and witnessed His terrible suffering until His final breath. She had traveled with Him many times throughout His ministry and saw both the peoples love and His enemy’s hatred. She would have known that trouble was coming sooner or later – and I’m certain there were many moments when her mothers heart wanted to tell Him to stop preaching and return to a quieter safer life in Nazareth – but she also understood that His God given destiny was far more important than her personal feelings.
Mary had to let her son go – even to a death on a cross – so He would become the savior of the world.
In those final moments, Jesus drew on His last reserves of strength to remind her that He had never ever stopped loving her. Since John (the disciple whom Jesus loved) was courageously standing there with her at the foot of the cross, Jesus chose him to take care of her. He was the right man in the right place for this vital role.
JOHN was near enough to SEE and HEAR and UNDERSTAND, and be available to do what the LORD needed him to do. WHAT ABOUT YOU?