"A Mother’s Request"
Do you want your kids to be great in the kingdom? Just ask, but be careful for what you ask.
A Mother’s Request
A. If you are or have ever been a mother, please stand. I would like the rest of us to thank them for the role they have played. Happy Mother’s Day. When you think about the role of a mom there are many things these wonderful ladies are called upon to do or be.
B. A good mother is a teacher to her children. She teaches by actions and words. Good moms are disciplinarians and kids are very aware of this role. The snap of my mom’s fingers in worship told me I was in big trouble. Sometime she had to give me “that look.” You all know that look, don’t you? Good moms are cleaning ladies, gardeners, bakers of important things like cookies and cakes, they wash dishes, clothes and windows. Good moms know just the right words to share with their kids. They are a psychologist, counselor, chauffeur and coach. They are the soft voice that reminds you that you are loved, the gentle arm that holds you while you cry and often cries with you. They help mold our personalities and become an early link between us and God. Good moms are all of these things and more.
C. The reading this morning started out with a mother’s request. You may think it strange that I chose this reading. It is not the typical Mother’s Day sermon reading. In fact, there are people that really think this mom was out of line in her request. But there are some qualities about her that I want us to consider, even if you think she was wrong for asking Jesus what she did. So let’s look at this mom with the eyes of a good mother.
I. She Came To Jesus
A. This mom knew the best life had to offer was one that centered on Jesus. I believe she loved her boys and loved Jesus. If we understand who this woman is correctly we will see her with the mother of Jesus at the cross watching Mary’s son die while hearing Jesus speak to her son asking him to take Mary in has his own mom. She is probably again with a group of women that go to the tomb the day Jesus rose up from the grave. This is a woman who loved Jesus and may have been related to him through his mother, Mary.
B. She understood that Jesus could offer her boys so much more than anything this life had to offer. I believe God teaches that we dads have the ultimate responsibility for the teaching and training of our children about spiritual matters. I also know that a mother’s influence is immeasurable.
C. Like her request or not, this mom brought her sons to Jesus for a spiritual request. Maybe the best lesson we can learn from this questionable situation is that we need to bring out children, even our adult children before the feet of Jesus. They need to see godly parents and we become that example. Jesus does not chastise her actions, but questions if she really understands her request.
II. She Worships Jesus
A. Look at her actions. “And kneeling before him she asked him for something.” I really encourage you to be back tonight as I take a little closer look at what it means to worship Jesus. But what I want you to understand is the example she give for her sons who have been with Jesus for a couple of years. She kneels before him.
B. One of the most powerful images I have of my grandfather was walking by his room one night, and with the door slightly open, I saw him kneeling by his bed to pray. My mother was the first person up when she was working. When we visited I would often here her get up and I would go into to the kitchen when I smelled the coffee. But I noticed each time that she had her Bible out and was studying. The last Bible she owned she gave to Caleb. No longer could she write well, but she was able to write his name and Mamma. Bring your children to Jesus mothers. Let them see from your life the example of what it means to humble yourself, to pray, to worship and to love Jesus
III. Wants Her Children In The Kingdom
A. This really leads me to the next point I want to make. I understand people disagree with her motives, but Jesus asks her, “What do you want?” Her reply was this, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Maybe she was trying to get her boys a “leg up” but don’t miss this; she was honest with her request. She was transparent in her desire.
B. I will admit that many times my prayer life has centered around me and my wants. I take them to God and plead with him to help me, fix me, give me or do for me. This mom was not looking for herself, she was looking out for her adult boys. Do you ever stop being a mom? When your kids are grown and out of the house do you stop being a mom? From what I see in many of you, the answer is “no.” You never stop being a mom. As a mom you want what is best for your children. You want them to be the best. Here was a mom that took her sons to Jesus, worshipped him and boldly asked that these boys become great leaders in the kingdom.
IV. The Answer She Did Not Expect
A. The answer was one she did not seem to expect. Jesus turns to the boys who were a part of this plan and asks them a question. “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” I don’t know if they understood the depth of that question, but I have no doubt the understood it was serious. Their answer was “we are able.”
B. Jesus simply acknowledge that they would indeed drink of his cup. They would also face death because of their faith. But placement in the kingdom belongs to God.
C. The others didn’t like the conversation very much. But Jesus dismissed them with simply with a quick statement about what it means to be a leader in his kingdom. It is not based upon exercising authority over others but the greatest will be a servant.
A. If tradition is correct, James was the first apostle to die, and he died at the hands of an evil king. John, the other son was probably the last apostle to die. Sitting on the right and left in the kingdom was not something Jesus said was his to grant. It really was not about position or greatness, but about service and love.
B. Five years ago I was watching my mother die. She did not know it was mother’s day. In fact, I don’t even remember if she was conscious that day. I miss my mother. My children are blessed to be with their mother today. A good mom loves Jesus, worships him, desires the best for kids and wants to see her children in the kingdom of God, and a mom who trusts what Jesus knows will happen. I would like to close with the lyrics of an old song.
C. If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
How sweet and happy seem, those days of which I dream
When memory recalls them now and then
And with what rapture sweet, my weary heart would beat
If I could hear my mother pray again
She used to pray that I, on Jesus would rely
And always walked the shining gospel way
So trusting in His love I seek that home above.
Where I shall meet my mother some glad day.
If I could only hear my mother pray again
If I could hear her, tender voice as then
How happy I would be, it would mean so much to me
If I could hear my mother pray again