© 2008 Deidre Campbell-Jones
May Theme: Mothers
Nylons: Matthew 20:20
Support Hose: John 19:25
You may not be old enough to have had a mother who wore “support hose” – or maybe now that your mother is old enough, she still doesn’t. I remember my mom talking about support hose, but I don’t remember her ever wearing a pair. I can imagine though, through all I’ve put her through, she would probably wish she’d had a pair of support hose that she could have put on in order give her the support she needed just to try and support me through all the failures I’ve had in life
Society seems to place so much pressure on moms and dads in this regard. If a person does not do well, society looks to how they were raised. And if a person does do well and is highly successful, again it is looked at how they were raised and the lessons of their upbringing.
But mothers however, get a tougher rap. Thanks to “Freud” mothers are the first to be considered whenever someone suffers from mental illness. Somehow the source always starts from childhood and never from the event that got the person sitting before the psychotherapist in the first place! And yet, mothers may also get the most (and most deserving) glory as well. Whenever a pro-ball player gets in front of the camera, the first thing he says is, “Hi Mom,” even if it is Dad who has suffered with him for hours and hours helping to train that boy to get where he is. And Mother’s Day is still the biggest day of each year for card sales and restaurant reservations – even above Valentine’s Day.
Mothers have a lot riding on their shoulders and those shoulders must bear the weight of the world and the brunt of all that we as children place there. In that regard, all mothers need support hose – but not to smooth out the unsightly bulges and blips of an aging body, but instead to smooth out the anguish and the worries that come from loving, encouraging and trying to support their children.
Every good mother wants the best for her children – she just can’t help it. Matthew 20:20 describes a woman who wanted nothing but the absolute best for her sons. “Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.” She wanted the highest place of prestige for her boys – that one would sit on Christ’s right hand and the other would sit at His left in the reign of His Kingdom. She dared to ask of the best for her sons and was willing to bear the full brunt of the weight of support for them.
Hey, but let’s admit it – supporting James and John, the two sons of Zebedee was probably an easy and beneficial thing for a mother to do. Her boys were famous – in fact, they’d already been of good report because of their father. Zebedee was obviously a man worthy of mentioning and his sons became known as the “sons of thunder” – as Zebedee means “thunder.” And now these two boys were Disciples of Christ; the Messiah, and the King of the Jews. Surely they were at the peak of their careers and purpose in life. Their mother may not have known the risk she took in asking Jesus such a question, but her support hose were easy to wear that day. It is easy for a mother to support a child when that child is doing well in her eyes.
But not all mothers have it so good. Some mothers have children who are lazy, have not finished school, cannot get a job and won’t leave home. Some mothers have children who are troubled and troublesome. They spend time in jail, in and out of marriages and relationships and are not good and supportive parents to their own children. What kind of support hose does this mother need to wear?
John 19:25 describes the ultimate act of support to me. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” Mary, Jesus’ mother stood by His cross while he was being crucified. Now remember from last week’s lesson, Jesus’ mother and his siblings did not necessarily show themselves as supportive of his ministry until after he was crucified and risen. It seems on the surface that they had been the last hold-outs, waiting for the ultimate proof that their family member – son and brother that they had known all his life – was really the one true, and only begotten son of God. Sure, I’ll believe it when he’s risen!
But in truth, Mary shows true support of her son even if she did not yet show true belief in him as The Son. You see, Jesus had been reviled, and was being crucified for the most heinous crime in Jewish law: blasphemy – worse even than murder as was proven by the fact that the Jews chose Barabas over Jesus when Pontius Pilate gave them a choice of who to release.
Mary had a son that was despised and abused; given the harshest sentence and was treated that much more harshly because of it. At the time that she stood by His cross, most all of his disciples had run into hiding for fear that they would be next. And yet there stood his mother, staring into the unrecognizably beaten face of her son, supporting him and loving him no matter what they said he’d done.
And Jesus, even in His greatest hour; the time of His purpose and the height of His passion, suffering and dying on the cross remembered and rewarded His mother for her loving and unwavering support of Him.
A mother’s genuine support can make or break the world in they eyes of a child. The sons of Zebedee hid behind their mother’s support and the other disciples were moved to indignation against them – not their mother. James and John were puffed up by their own self-importance because of their mother’s support of them. And like I said, it is easy for a mother to be supportive of her children who are doing well in her eyes.
But a mother who can support through love even when her child is at his lowest point, even when all looks lost and even when the truth of what she sees does not match what her heart knows is true – that is a mother whose support is worthy of the Lord. That is a support that will bring her glory, honor, recognition and reward.
A mother’s love is the warmth that comforts and soothes, but a mother’s support can lift the world and suffer the course even unto death. Now those are some mighty hefty support hose!
Power, love & peace -