The Influence of A Godly Mother

Luke 1:26-37

Jim Davis

Before I was a Mom ...

Before I was a mom
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom
I had never been puked on, pooped on, spit on, chewed on, peed on
or pinched by tiny fingers

Before I was a Mom
I had complete control of my mind, my thoughts, my body, and my mind.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a Mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make
sure all was ok I had never known the warmth the joy,  the love,  the heartache, the wonderfulment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

It is no accident that the gospel accounts of Jesus' life and ministry begin with his mother. His father is briefly mentioned in the beginning of Jesus' life and he is seen again when Jesus was about twelve years old as Jesus was teaching at the temple. (Luke 2:47) After this Jesus' father disappears from the pages of the gospels. We can only speculate about his disappearance. However, it is no coincidence that the gospel accounts of Jesus' life end with Jesus' mother weeping at the foot of the cross.

Jesus' mother was present when Jesus performed his first miracle in Cana in Galilee. In fact, she was the one who motivated him to perform his first miracle.

John 2:1-10
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." (NIV)

It seems as though Jesus' mother was never very far away from him.

Matthew 12:46-47
While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." (NIV)

John 19:25-27
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (NIV)

The Obedience of Jesus' Mother

It was Mary the mother of Jesus who taught him obedience.

Luke 2:43-52
After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (NIV)

It was Christ's obedience that qualified him to be the author of our eternal salvation.

Hebrews 5:8-10
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (NIV)

Mary was qualified to teach her Son obedience because she exemplified obedience in her life. She exemplified the way she desired her Son to live.

Luke 1:30-34
But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" (NIV)

With child like faith and submission, Mary replied: "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.'" (Luke 1:38 NIV) So it was that the virgin Mary had a son and laid him in a manger.

Mary's obedience called for a sacrifice.

Matthew 1:18-19
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (NIV)

Can you imagine going to someone you are dating and telling them you are pregnant with someone else's child. The fact that Joseph was concerned about public disgrace is evidence of the stigma attached to her obedience. When Luke gives his genealogy of Christ he writes, "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli. . ." (Luke 3:23 NIV)

Mary demonstrated that it didn't matter what the world thought, obedience to God was the most important aspect of living.

The greatest blessing in Jesus' life wasn't the fact that Mary was chosen to be his mother. It was that his mother chose to obey God. Her obedience qualified her to be the mother of Jesus. Mothers today are capable of making the same choices.

Luke 11:27-28
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (NIV)

Mary's obedience was so complete that she recognized the authority of her son Jesus.

John 2:1-5
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." (NIV)

Some teach the immaculate of Mary. The believe Mary was born without the natural desires the rest of us have. They believe Mary's birth was somehow immaculate and thus she was qualified to be the mother of God. Some even believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. It is true that Mary remained a virgin until Jesus was born. But Matthew speaks of Jesus' mother and brothers. (Matthew 12:46-47) Her virginity was not perpetuated after the birth of Christ. Mark names four of Jesus' brothers and says that he has at least two sisters. (Mark 6:3) John even records a discussion Jesus had with his brothers.

John 7:3-6
Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. (NIV)

These are attempts to make Mary something other than what we are. These attempts really imply that ordinary women could never obey as Mary did. God is calling every mother to become a mother of his children. Obedience is often difficult, but through obedience you discover God's enabling power.

The world in which Mary lived saw nothing immaculate about Mary. They sure didn't believe in her perpectual virginity. They thought Jesus was the son of Joseph. Each child born gives some mother a chance to be a Mary in carrying out the great commission.

Mary is a perfect example of what God is willing to do with ordinary women such as yourselves.

A Mother's Influence

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still
It moved and yielded at my will.

I came again when days were past,
The form I gave it still it bore,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
I could change that form no more.

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon,
He still that early impress bore,
And I could change it never more.

The Influence of A Mother

The love of a mother is never exhausted. It never changes--it never tires--it endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world's condemnation, a mother's love still lives on. It was a mother's love that compelled Mary to be with Jesus all the way to the foot of the cross.

Timothy's mother seemed to be the only influence he had for becoming a faithful Christian.

2 Timothy 1:5-6
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (NIV)

In the verses I see the sacrificial example of mothers. Paul is writing to Timothy. Timothy’s father was Greek or Gentile. Luke states that his mother was a believer but his father was a Greek. (Acts 16:1) That simply means his mother was a Christian and his father wasn’t. He father wasn’t even Jewish. It was his mother, Eunice, who influenced him for Christ. It all started with his grandmother, Lois.

1 Timothy 5:14
So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. (NIV)

Lorne Sanny once wrote of his mother: "My mother gave birth to me in a frontier house on a midwestern prairie. On the kitchen counter she placed a list of the ingredients necessary for my formula. At the top of the list was 'prayer,' and that remained at the top of her list for me throughout her life...I have her to thank for firmly establishing my spiritual roots." (Today in the Word, MBI, January, 1990, p. 23)

There are many going to church here today solely due to the influence of a persevering godly mother. Men seem to want their children to be like them and mothers want their children to be all they can be.

Titus 2:2-8
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (NIV)

Once the New York Times was asked to help a group of clubwomen decide on the twelve greatest women in the United States. After due consideration, the editors replied, 'The twelve greatest women in the United States are women who have never been heard of outside of their own homes.'"

"I ask you, who was greater, Thomas A. Edison or his mother?" When he was a young lad his teacher sent him home with a note which said, 'Your child is dumb. We can't do anything for him.' Mrs. Edison wrote back, 'You do not understand my boy. I will teach him myself'. And she did, with results that are well known.

There are some rules I ran across for rearing children that I think are appropriate for every mother and father.

1. Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together with God to save his soul.
2. Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak.
3. Give him nothing he cries for and only what is good for him if he asks for it politely.
4. To prevent lying, punish no fault, which is freely confessed, but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go unnoticed.
5. Commend and reward good behavior.
6. Strictly observe all promises you have make to your child.


Years ago, a young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying her tiny baby in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination. When the blizzard had subsided, searchers found her body beneath a mound of snow. But they discovered that before her death, she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby. When they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had mounded her body over his and given her life for her child, proving the depths of her mother love. Years later that child, David Lloyd George, grown to manhood, became prime minister of Great Britain, and, without doubt, one of England’s greatest statesman.

The contribution of mothers to the world’s affairs is often overlooked, but remember "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."