(Recommended reading: Luke 1:26-38 – Quoted scriptures from NLT)
We do not read the impactful kind of stories in the Bible about Mothers like we do about Fathers. So thinking about that, I decided to do some research about the role of women in Biblical times. What I found was that women were much more highly regarded in Old Testament days. There were women prophetesses, judges, leaders, negotiators, business owners/operators. They did manual labor and participated actively in temple worship along with the men.
But during the time of Jesus that had changed drastically. Women had pretty much been relegated to taking care of their homes and tending to their families. They could only attend the temple services in the court that had been designated for women only. The reasons for these changes were likely because of their pagan neighbors and their practices which apparently were adopted by the Jewish rabbis.
With these kinds of societal changes, it was practically scandalous the way Jesus spoke to and interacted with women. His attitude about women was definitely not the norm. He spoke directly to them, he taught them, healed them, allowed them to follow him around and minister to him. Women were there at his crucifixion, they were the first to his tomb to find him gone and they were the first to proclaim his resurrection.
What we do know about one Mother’s love is reflected so well in Jesus’ Mother – Mary. As a very young teenager, she was engaged to be married. She was visited by an angel that told her she was to bear a son that would reign over Israel. She was puzzled about this revelation because she was a virgin but when told how it would happen she simply replied: “‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.‘“ (Luke 1:38) Such pure, honest devotion and obedience!
Then when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to be dedicated more was revealed about their son. Luke 2:33-35 says: “Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, ‘This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.’” She was being forewarned of the heartbreak she would experience as the Mother of this child.
Mary watched as Jesus’ ministry grew with all the pressures that go along with that. She knew that he had to prioritize since he was going about doing his Father’s business, even though at times she was on the fringes of his life. I am sure that at times she must have felt rejected because he had so much to accomplish and little time to do it. Yet when he was tried, tortured and then hung on a cross she was there for him.
Jesus’ love and respect for his Mother was so deep that he wanted to guarantee she was cared for in the best way possible. While hanging on the cross awaiting death to swallow him up, John 19:26-27 says: “When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, ‘Dear woman, here is your son.’ And he said to this disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from then on this disciple took her into his home.” Jesus’ brothers were not believers at this point, so he chose to put his beloved Mother into the care of his most trusted disciple.
As we celebrate our Mothers today, on this special day set aside to honor them, we should never forget the sometimes thankless job they perform. Mothers give life, then they sacrifice and work hard to give their children the best life possible. There are difficult times that cause them grief and sorrow. But, there are also times of great reward and satisfaction. They deserve all of the honor and thanks that we can give them.
So today, if you still have your Mother here on earth and near enough that you can go see her, please do that. If she is too far away for a personal visit, make certain to give her a call.
If like me, your Mother is no longer here on earth, spend some time thinking of her and the blessing that she was in your life.
There is absolutely no substitution for a Mother’s love.
Written by Karran Martin – April 17, 2021
If you would like to read more about the role of women in the bible, I have provided a link for the article I read – I found it to be very interesting: