It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world. To demonstrate women’s influence in the world as givers and nurturers of life, literature and fork tales are full of such examples.
One my favourite among these is Mary the mother of Jesus. Mary commands so much reverence in Christianity especially in the Roman Catholic faith where she is worshipped.
However, when I read the Bible, I see a typical mother-child relationship between Jesus and Mary; full of tension and sometimes disappointment.
For instance at the wedding of Cana, John in 2:1-4 records the following exchange between mother and son. “1Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee.
2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there.
3 When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, “They don’t have any more wine.”
4 Jesus replied, “Mother, my time hasn’t yet come: You must not tell me what to do.”
A Ugandan mother would have probably been offended by her son’s brash words and manner but Mary seems to ignore the less than reverential words and simply addresses their hosts to obey her son’s commands. Her confidence that he would ultimately attend to her request besides his answer points to a mother who truly knows the inner workings of their child.
It is this same confidence that probably removes the sting from Jesus’ words when on a subsequent occasion Mary and other family members go searching for him and they find him ministering to a crowd. When he is informed of His mother’s presence, Jesus says his mother and brothers are those who do the will of God. Luke 8:21.
Child in ministry
And yet on another occasion when an amazed woman remarks that: “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and blessed are the breasts that nursed You! But He said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it” Luke 11:28. Although on the surface it looks like Jesus is simply rebuffing the woman and rejecting her compliment; he is focusing her attention not just on his brilliance but on her own obligation to fulfill the commandments of God. He is far from rejecting the idea of his own exalted status or of the fact that his mother was very blessed to have a son like him. He is just intently focused on his mission which Mary understands clearly.
Despite her son’s fierce determination and focus on his ministry, Mary does not distance herself from him but finds a way to be with him without becoming a distraction. This is because the gospels record her presence at the crucifixion and is even among the small band of believers that meet the risen Lord.
Not as rosy
I have often wondered why Jesus’ relationship with his mother was not rosier and I believe that Jesus did not want their relationship to be manipulated by the devil to distract him from completing his mission of bringing salvation to all mankind.
When they are not cordial
As for Mary, she certainly presents us a great example to follow as mothers. From their relationship, we learn that even though our relationships with our children may not be cordial especially when they grow up and make decisions that do not tally with our expectations, we must continue giving our support as and when it is needed. As mothers, our belief in their choices makes a great difference.
More often your children will make choices that seem irresponsibly out of this world, all they need from you is the same kind of support Mary gave Jesus. You do not have to understand what or why they do the things they do just trust that you raised them well enough to tell bad from good.
In accordance with Jesus teaching let us pray at all times because our influence for good and for bad is great in our children’s lives.
Let us ask the holy spirit to give us the wisdom to know when to hold fast onto them and when to let them go but above all keep our eyes on the prize; enabling them to live lives that glorify God in word and in deed.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you givers and nurturers of life.
The bible says...
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9