Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Ascended Lord and His Mother

John 2:5 (NKJV)
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Today is Ascension Sunday. While Ascension Day was actually last Thursday, 40 days from the celebration of Easter, in our congregation we have yet to celebrate on Thursday and delay our celebration until today. On Ascension Sunday we remember the momentous event in the life of our Lord when he ascended up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of the Father, as the exalted Ruler over all creation. On Easter Sunday Jesus was crowned King of All; on Ascension Sunday he entered into his rule. And the fruit of his reign was shortly seen – for next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate that the ascended Christ poured out His Spirit to empower the Church for witness.

Providentially today is also Mothers’ Day and so I though it would be fitting to remember that our Lord Jesus, the very one who is seated at the right hand of the Father, the ruler over all the Kings of the earth, had a mother and honored his mother.

One of the greatest tests of Jesus’ honor for his mother came at the very beginning of his earthly ministry, at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. We can imagine the temptation that Jesus faced when Mary urged him to assist the bridegroom in supplying wine for his wedding guests. We know that her request was presumptuous – for Jesus felt compelled to correct her. And yet; and yet, Mary is confident that her son will honor her request and so she speaks the words in our text today, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Mary knew the character of her son and knew that he would do this for her. And Jesus doesn’t disappoint. He turns the water into wine and so begins his public ministry.

There is an important lesson here for children, especially sons, and that principle is this – even when Jesus’ mother asked something that was inappropriate given the circumstances, Jesus honored her and did what she requested. And if our Lord Jesus, He who is the exalted Lord of all, honored his mother by granting her request even when it was untimely, then how much more ought we children to honor our mothers when they make requests of us? In so far as we are able, let us fulfill the requests of our mothers – for Jesus has gone before us.

Too often, however, we are too full of ourselves to sacrifice and die to our own desires on behalf of our mothers. We think of what our mothers are to do for us rather than what we are to do for them. And certainly in this we mimic much of our broader culture. Motherhood, despite the tradition of Mother’s Day, has fallen on hard times. Mothers are despised and neglected, often disrespected. But God calls us to something different.

So today let us confess to God that we have not treasured motherhood and our own mother as we ought. Let us kneel as we confess our sin to the Lord.