Mothers of Jesus. Tamar was tenacious. Good moms are tenacious. Rahab was a survivor. Good moms are survivors. Ruth was dedicated. Good moms are dedicated. Bathsheba was adored. Good moms are adored. Mary was a servant. Great moms serve the Lord
Mothers of Jesus
By Pastor Delbert Young
Mothers of Jesus
Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:15, Matthew 1:17, Matthew 1:3, Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31, Ruth 1:16-17, Matthew 1:6, 1 Kings 2:19, 1 Kings 4:29-34, Matthew 1:16, Luke 1:26-34, Luke 1:38, 48-49
Today is Mother’s Day. I pray that every mother here has a very blessed Mother’s day.
In the movie “Steel Magnolias,” Shelby (Julia Roberts) has a kidney disorder. She was told not to have children because her body could not handle the strain. No matter, Shelby had a baby and named him Jack Jr. A short time later Shelby went into a coma and died. I mention that story line to emphasize the power of the desire to give birth within a woman. Paul said a very interesting thing concerning this in 1 Timothy 2:15.
1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Childbearing is a part of the purposes of God for a woman. It works right along with faith and charity and holiness and sobriety. So moms, as tough as it is and as painful as it is, your children are helping to work your salvation.
My title today is “Mothers of Jesus.” I am taking it from a list of ancestral history of Jesus given us in Matthew chapter one. We all have a history or an ancestral lineage. I have been able to research my ancestral lineage back about seven generations on my dad’s side and only about three generations back on my mother’s side. My grandmother on my mother’s side was from England and I haven’t been able to research it well yet. The book of Matthew, chapter 1, verses 1-17, gives us the generations of Jesus from Abraham to Christ. That’s about forty-two generations.
Matthew 1:17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
The genealogy list comes to Joseph. We know that the Holy Spirit came upon Mary to father Jesus. So, Joseph lineage really isn’t what we are looking for. However, Mary obviously flows in this genealogy also.
Interestingly, there are five women listed in these verses who were mothers, or grandmothers, of Jesus. We know that each person listed had to have a mother, but for some reason these five are mentioned out of the forty-two that could be mentioned. I believe these are listed is to teach us some about God’s love, God’s redemption, and some important truths about mothers and grandmothers. I want to look at these five women today. And draw several wonderful truths about moms.
Tamar – The first mother mentioned is Tamar.
Matthew 1:3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar…
We find Tamar’s story in Genesis chapter 38. This is one of those stories in the Bible that shock and amaze us that the story is actually in the Bible. In fact, it is so shocking that I will not talk about it in depth. It’s a story of incest, deceitfulness, and lies. I will only give a quick overview.
Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and the father of the tribe of Judah. This Judah had a son named Er who married a woman named Tamar. The Bible says that Er was wicked and he died before having any children. In those days when that happened, a brother was to marry the widowed wife and produce offspring for the brother. Judah did have another son named Onan. Judah had Onan marry Tamar. He too did some wicked things and died not producing any children. Judah had one more son named Shelah. Judah told Tamar to go live as a widow until Shelah became old enough to marry her. Actually, Judah was afraid that this son would die also and was taking steps to avoid his death by marrying Tamar. Tamar went to live with her parents in another city. She lived as a widow keeping herself for Shelah. Judah did not bring Shelah. After many years, Judah’s wife died. After he had grieved her death, he went on a trip to a city. It was the city where Tamar lived. She heard that Judah was coming and knew that Judah had lied to her concerning his youngest son. So, she dressed as a prostitute and waited for Judah to pass. He did pass. He did propositioned Tamar not knowing it was her. She asked him what would he pay her. He said, “I will send you a goat when I get home.” (Probably a good price then.) She said, “Leave your staff and seal until you send the goat.” He did and they did and Tamar became pregnant. Judah sent the goat so he could get his staff and seal back, but that prostitute was not to be found. When word got out that Tamar was pregnant, Judah was going to have her put to death (that’s what they did then) until Tamar showed the staff and seal. She told everyone that she was pregnant by Judah. Tamar became the mother of twins. One of which was the ancestor of Jesus.
What in the world can we learn that would be positive about motherhood from that story? One of the most obvious truths is the tenaciousness of mothers to be mothers. Tamar was not as interested in having a husband as she was in having a child. The bottom line to a good mother is that baby she birthed.
I know women who have tried and tried to have a baby. Doctor upon doctor has been retained. Fertilization pills, fertilization shots, artificial insemination, adoption, anything, they can do to have a baby they did. You name it and they did it. They will tenaciously work to be mothers. Good mothers are tenacious.
My mom was tenacious. Before me, I had a brother who didn’t make it. Mom had a miscarriage, but that didn’t stop her. My dad told me how proud my mom was when she gave birth to me. She had another miscarriage after me. Again, that did not stop her. Later she had my sister. God has built into women an unquenchable desire to have and raise children. Good mothers are tenacious.
Rahab –The next mother that we are told about in the lineage of the Christ is a woman named Rahab.
Matthew 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab…
Rahab carried a dubious handle. She was known as “Rahab the harlot.” We would say, “Rahab, the prostitute.” That title followed her all the way into the New Testament.
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
Isn’t it amazing who was in the lineage of Jesus? I suppose we would be amazed if we knew what some of our grandparents were and did in our lineages. God redeemed a prostitute and used her to bring forth the Christ.
Rahab’s story goes like this. Joshua sent spies to check out the city of Jericho before attacking. It was during that time that the spies met Rahab the harlot. Why the spies went to a house of prostitution is curious. At any rate, Rahab, the madam of the house of ill repute, hid the spies saving them from being killed. Rahab had heard about the people of God and how they were destroying every enemy they faced. She saw the handwriting on the wall and made a deal with the spies. In exchange for their lives, they would spare her household when Jericho was attacked. She hung the famous “scarlet cord” from her window showing the people of God who not to kill. When the city was attacked and the walls of Jericho fell flat, only Rahab the harlot and her household were allowed to live. She later married an Israelite man and became a part of the lineage of the Christ.
What truth do we learn about mothers from Rahab the prostitute? Rahab was a survivor. She was determined to make it. She could make it in her society. When that society was terminated, she made it in another society. When one world came tumbling down, Rahab created another world. She was a survivor.
Mothers are like that. I watch the worlds of mothers come crashing down, but they survive. There are a lot of single moms out there who are survivors. They are determined to make it. If one world comes down, they create a new world. Sometimes they do this more than once. They do what they need to do to insure the survival of their household. Good mothers are survivors.
We also learn the far reaching redemption of God from Rahab’s story. Rahab was not what we would call a moral person. However, that did not stop God from saving, accepting, and using Rahab to bring forth the Christ. Most likely, some of our grandmother ancestors along the way were not the most moral of people. But they were survivors and God used them to bring you and me to redemption. Good mothers are survivors.
Ruth – The next mother we read about in the lineage of Christ is Ruth.
Matthew 1:5 …Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth . . .
We learn about Ruth in the book of Ruth. A Jewish man, his wife named Naomi, and two sons moved from Bethlehem because of a famine. They moved to the Gentile area called Moab. There the man died leaving Naomi a widow. Both the boys married women from Moab and then both the boys died. That left Naomi and her two sons wives named Ruth, and Orpah. Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem and told the two women to go home to their relatives. Orpah did, but Ruth said,
Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Ruth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Ruth and Naomi moved back to Bethlehem. In Bethlehem, Naomi had a relative named Boaz. Ruth and Boaz fell in love. Though Boaz was much older than Ruth, they married and had a family.
What principle do we learn from Ruth about motherhood? Ruth was a dedicated person. We see a tremendous dedication level in Ruth. Where you go, I will go. Where you die, I will die. She was dedicated. Dedication is an earmark of a good mother. Moms will fight and die for their families and children. Because she was so dedicated, Ruth became a mother and the great, great-grandmother of king David and used in the lineage of the Christ.
Bathsheba – The next mother mentioned is Bathsheba. Her name isn’t actually mentioned, but we know the identity of Uriah’s wife.
Matthew 1:6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Have you noticed that these gals were not perfect? One would think that women in the lineage of Jesus Christ would have been close to perfect. Tamar deceived her father-in-law into incest. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth was questionable. She did lay down with Boaz in the barn. Here we have Bathsheba. We see the love of God for people. I think sometimes we don’t think he loves the woman who commits incest, the prostitute, the woman taking advantage of a situation, or the adulteress. That’s not true. God loves all people. It’s not his will that nay should perish, but that all repent. He wants all that negative stuff to change, but that does not stop him from redeeming people and using them to fulfill his plan to bring the Christ.
The story about Bathsheba is in 2 Samuel chapter 11. I suppose it is one of the most familiar Bible stories. David, the king, or we would say the president, of Israel was doing the “peeping Tom” thing from his balcony. He saw Bathsheba bathing and sent for her. She came and they did and Bathsheba became pregnant. The problem was compounded because Bathsheba was married to a man named Uriah. David eventually had Uriah killed and then David married Bathsheba. Sadly, that baby died. Later, Bathsheba became pregnant again. This time the baby lived and his name was Solomon.
What in the world can we find from Bathsheba that will be a positive principle for motherhood? Well, there isn’t much to work with in that part of the Bathsheba story. Let’s fast-forward many years. We find a tremendous respect and love that David had for Bathsheba. David had many sons. His eldest son should have been the heir to the throne, but instead Solomon became king. The reason was because of David’s love for Bathsheba. David adored Bathsheba. Beyond that, Solomon adored his mother Bathsheba. We see this later when David had died and Solomon was king. We read,
1 Kings 2:19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.
Bathsheba had been a good mother. Wise children don’t just happen. Sure, Bathsheba made some mistakes, but she raised one of the wisest men that ever lived.
1 Kings 4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
1 Kings 4:30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.
1 Kings 4:31 He was wiser than any other man… And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.
1 Kings 4:32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.
1 Kings 4:33 He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.
1 Kings 4:34 Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
You and I may never know some of the bad decisions that our moms made. It wasn’t that way with Solomon. He knew what had happened with David and Bathsheba, but he still adored her. It didn’t matter what she had done. It did matter what she had become. She had become a good mom. Her son, the king, loved her enough to bow to her. King Solomon loved his mother Bathsheba enough to set her a throne at the right side of his throne.
It’s not easy to raise a wise child. One thing I have noticed is that wise children adore their moms. They reverence their moms. They want their moms involved in decisions concerning their lives. They set their mom up a throne in their lives to help guide them. That’s what Solomon did.
Some moms here may have made some big mistakes. That doesn’t mean you are not a good mother. That doesn’t mean your children don’t adore you. That doesn’t mean they won’t want you involved in their lives. If your child is wise, you will have eternally impacted upon their lives. Good moms are adored by their children and their husbands.
Mary – The fifth mother mentioned in this list is Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Matthew 1:16 . . . Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
We know the story. Mary was a very young girl who experienced a visitation from an angel and then from the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin. Obviously that was an odd trait because it needed special mention. A girl being a virgin when she marries is unusual. Mary was a virgin. Obviously, that impressed the Lord God. Mary’s virginity was a major point of discussion between her and the angel. It’s pointed out three times.
Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
Luke 1:27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Luke 1:34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Judy, my wife, has a sister who works for a gynecologist’s practice. She told Judy that there is an unprecedented number of young girls becoming pregnant. The term used was “epidemic.” She said that eleven and twelve-year-old girls were pregnant coming into the office. Also, there was an “epidemic” of sexually transmitted diseases in these young girls. I want to take the opportunity to tell you young girls that virginity is a decision. Anybody can go out and have sex, but not everybody will be a virgin when they marry. Premarital sex is an irrevocable decision. Once you make the decision and lose your virginity, you cannot change it back. Boys will be boys. I wish I could change that and your parents wish they could change that. Girls will be girls unless you make a decision. Your mom and dad are not going to be able to be with you in that car alone. You must make the decision way before you find yourself needing to make the decision.
Purity is a decision and it was one that Mary made. It was one that gave Mary great favor with God. Mary was “highly favored” by the Lord. He loved Tamar and Rahab and Ruth and Bathsheba. But Mary was “highly favored” by the Lord. Mary would have a special child and Mary would have a special life.
The angel told Mary God’s deal for her, and Mary accepted her commission. She said,
Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
How did Mary make that decision to remain a virgin? I believe it was because she first made the decision to be the Lord’s servant. She had a relationship with the Lord. She was committed to serve him. That made Mary a great mother. She raised her children to serve the Lord. She was probably one of those moms who would beat you if you would not go to church. Look what she raised! She raised Jesus the Christ, James an apostle and Jude an apostle.
What do we learn about motherhood from Mary? What don’t we learn about motherhood from Mary? She teaches purity, servant hood, love, and every characteristic that a mother should possess. The one thing I want to capitalize upon is she was the Lord’s servant. A great mom serves the Lord and does all she can to get her children to serve the Lord. What she does will resound through the generations to come.
Luke 1:48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
Luke 1:49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name.
From Mary, we learn that great moms serve the Lord. They cause their children to serve the Lord. That servant mentality will affect generations to come.
Tamar was tenacious. Good moms are tenacious. Rahab was a survivor. Good moms are survivors. Ruth was dedicated. Good moms are dedicated. Bathsheba was adored. Good moms are adored. Mary was a servant. Great moms serve the Lord and raise their children to serve the Lord. All those moms did their part to bring forth the Christ in the earth. I want to thank you mothers here for what you have done and what you are doing to bring forth something in our region. Thanks for what you are doing to bring forth Christ in your children. You are tenacious people, survivors, dedicated, adored, and servants. God bless you.
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