Mothers on Purpose

Jesus and His Mother

We have been focusing upon the idea of “Living on Purpose,” and that means that we want to live according to the

  • purposes of God;
  • His plan;
  • His desires.

We learn this through various teaching forms in Scripture, such as:

  • stories;
  • law;
  • parables;
  • proverbs; etc.

Of all of the Ten Commandments,

one is dedicated to children and parents,

[although, you could almost say that all 10 relate to God being our parent]

We are to obey our Father and Mother.

This command

is not like the teaching that forbids eating cheese with meat or pickled pig’s feet,

but it IS a teaching that is continued throughout the New Testament, like those against

  • stealing,
  • killing,
  • coveting,
  • adultery,
  • lying, etc.,

are continued in the New Testament.

There are 2 billion Christians in the world, and there are many who believe much more about Mary than the Bible teaches.

Their teaching is based upon traditions and teachings that came after the Bible.

My commitment to you, at River of Life, is to teach the Scripture, and not anything else.

Jesus’ mother’s name was Myriam, like Moses’ sister, and we say “Mary” in English.

Jesus had an interesting relationship with His mother, and it related to the fact that He, too, lived on purpose.

The Bible offers quite a lot of interaction between Mary and Jesus, much more than we might expect.

The Gospels and Acts share history and biography, but they are not written as History, per se, but are a unique type of literature.

These books, and the other books of the New Testament, are all written as an announcement to the world of who Jesus really is.

Therefore, everything in the New Testament is included by design to help us understand who Jesus is, and the validity of His message.

Therefore, Jesus’ interaction with his mother is very helpful for us to understand more about Jesus.

Even when Mary is not named, she was most likely a witness to several events in Scripture, and especially the crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus’ mother was one of at least 500 saw the resurrected Jesus.

Let’s look at what the Bible says about Mary:

  • As a virgin, she conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit
  • Engaged to Joseph a carpenter
  • Gave birth in a difficult time
  • Was a refugee (fled with her family to Egypt because an angel’s warning)
  • Lost Jesus, aged 12, in Jerusalem
  • Encouraged Jesus’ first miracle
  • Was at the cross
  • Was placed into the Apostle John’s care from the cross
  • Was with the early church in Acts 1

What I want to talk about today, is the relationship that Mary with her son, and how that relates to us, regardless of whether or not we are mothers.

20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

… …

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:20-22; 31-35

The title of my message, today, is

“Mothers on Purpose”

Let’s pray


  1. Good Intentions and Misunderstandings

Good intentions and misunderstandings…

no, that is not the title of my upcoming autobiography, J

but that is what I see as the best way to understand the story we have just read.

Jesus’ mother and brothers had good intentions, but they misunderstood.

We have often heard that…

“Mother knows best.”


Well, anyone who has ever had a mother, and that is…everyone here,

knows that this is not always correct.

The saying, “Mother knows best,” has nothing to do with academics, but with life.

It is not about current world events, but about the needs and conditions of her babies…

and no matter how old children grow, they are still their mamma’s baby, right?

Moms have good intentions, so do sisters and brothers. They may seem like GOOD intentions, but CHILDREN don’t always want the attention.

Mary had the best of intentions to take care of Jesus, and yet, she lost him when he was 12 years old.

Many parents have lost their children for a few minutes, but this was for a few days.

Given the dangers of today that are around us (traffic; sharp corners; predators—both human and animal) it is scary to misplace our children.


My son, Colin, currently lives and serves in Fairbanks, Alaska.

I recall when we misplaced Colin when he was only 5 years old.

We were walking through Maymont Park with another family, and honestly, I was more concerned about the other family.

I thought their kids might get hurt, as they were running all over the place.

The ladies were behind us, and we men in front, and when I didn’t see Colin, I thought he was with Clover.

Clover thought he was with me.

When we realized we had lost him, we sprang into action.

I went one way, Clover the other, and as I asked people if they had seen a child matching his description, eventually, someone told me that a woman was taking a child to the guard house.

I was so relieved when I was reunited with my son.

Losing a child is tough

During the story we read, today, Mary thought she had lost Jesus, again, and so she sprang into action

She was incorrect, however, as were many others.

Mark puts her actions and thoughts into the same light as that of the Teachers of the Law who said Jesus was demon possessed.

They, obviously, had not studied the law as well as they should have, but Mary thought Jesus was “out of his mind.”

It was typical for the religious leaders to criticize Jesus, because of their jealousy, and they judged His lack of a theology degree.

But for the mother to think he was crazy, that carried more weight.

Moms help sons to regain some clarity.


In 2014, I began to experience sharp nerve pain in my forehead.

We were serving in Turkey at that time. I told my mother by phone about the pain, and she wanted to know “WHY” I had it.

I answered that the doctor said this could be caused by stress. So, my mother sent me some money and said,

“go and get some massages.

I went to a place and found a Filipino Pastor who also was a masseuse. So, we would have discussions of faith while he worked the stress out of my body.

That was the way my mother was concerned for me.

Mary was concerned for Jesus. So, she bought a plane ticket and flew to Him


Well she didn’t actually do that, but she gathered her children together.

She couldn’t safely travel alone.

The children had to put their plans on hold in order to help their mother and help Jesus.

She had lost him, once, and didn’t want to lose him, again.

On the day that Jesus was dedicated to the Lord, an old man named Simeon prophesied that Jesus was the Christ, and yet, that a sword would pierce Mary’s soul…

Mary, and Jesus’ brothers had good intentions, though they misunderstood.

Moms and children have an odd relationship

Ernie Campe read on Wednesday, the following:

At 6 years old, “Mommy, I love you.”

At 10, “Mom,…whatever”

At 16, “My mom is sooooo annoying.”

At 18, “I wanna leave this house.”

At 25, “Mom, you were right.”

At 30, “I wanna go to mom’s house.”

At 50, “I don’t wanna to lose my mom.”

At 70, “I would give up anything for my mom to be here with me.”

As we see, even wonderful people like Mary and Jesus’ brothers were capable of good intentions and misunderstandings.

So, we need to be people of intention and understanding.

  1. Intention and Understanding
  • Mary had been visited by an angel
  • She had become pregnant as a virgin
  • She had raised Jesus and knew something of his power (thus, she went to him when the wine ran out at a wedding)
  • And, yet, she thought Jesus was out of his mind.

Why do people, TODAY, think Jesus is wrong or not enough?

  • Logic—their understanding of logic doesn’t allow them to believe
  • Convenience—sometimes it is better to not believe
  • Tradition—if we are expecting something, and it doesn’t fit the “How,” then we look elsewhere

Yet, a transformation had to occur for Mary.

She somehow became part of the faithful…a believer…a follower of Jesus.

Mary didn’t want to lose her son.

On a third occasion, she realized that a sword would pierce her heart as she saw Jesus hanging on a cross.

Did she understand?

How much did she realize?

Yet, she, later, is found among the faithful

Somehow, she had understanding

This third time for her to lose her son brought more understanding, I think.

Since Jesus was so popular, it was inevitable that he would be crucified as a revolutionary. Perhaps, that is what was meant when Mary thought Jesus was crazy.

Did she know that He was going to the cross?

I don’t know. But I do know that she was there.

It took so much energy for Jesus to push himself up in order to speak, because his lungs were filling up with water as he hung there.

Seven statements of Jesus were recorded from the cross, and Mary would have heard them:

  1. I am thirsty
  2. Father, Forgive
  3. You will be with me in Paradise
  4. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me ….and
  5. It Is Finished…these were most likely the first verse and last words of Psalm 22
  6. Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit
  7. “Woman,[b]here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

John 19:25-27

Jesus may have been saying two things when he addressed his mother:

  • Mom, John is NOW your son, and will take care of you


  • Mother, look at me, your son, now

She had given birth to him, and tried to protect him, yet, here she was witnessing his greatest moment of ministry.

He not only was taking care of his mother, but he was trying to minister to her, as well.

While He carried our sin as our sacrifice.

I have a feeling that Mary became an intentional follower of Jesus prior to his crucifixion,

but once she saw how he behaved on the cross,

she must have had no doubt that she was following more than her own son,

but following the Son of God.

Jesus was intentional,…ESPECIALLY on the cross.

She became intentional, too.

She had become His disciple.

When I speak with Muslims, sometimes they try to convince me of Islam according to logic, but I often say,

“If you could see Jesus the way that I see Him, then they would understand and follow Him as Lord and Savior, too.”

How did Mary see Jesus on the cross?

I think she understood that He is our Lord and Savior.

  1. Our Response

Look what does Jesus say about living on purpose in this passage:

Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:35

As we do God’s will, we find purpose.

It is God’s will that we believe in the love and sacrifice of Jesus, and in believing, we become His brother, sister and mother.

Let’s be Mothers on Purpose, and dads, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters on purpose, too.


A few years ago, I was flying somewhere, J and sitting beside me was a small Egyptian man.

He was a Christian, called a “Coptic” Christian.

He has lived in the US for several decades, and when I met him, he was retired.

His parents had recently died, and he was going to Egypt to encourage his fellow Egyptian Christians, and to share his faith with Muslims.

He knew that this might be his last trip.

We prayed, together, and I have prayed for this man, at other times, too, but we’ve not been able to keep in touch.

I gave him my email address, but he did not write.

He was living on purpose. All of his life, he was a good citizen of the US, living on purpose for the Lord.

At that moment, he was on special assignment from the Lord to encourage and evangelize.

Last month in Egypt there were two church-bombings in which about 45 people were killed, and 126 were wounded.

I don’t know if the man traveling with me was among the casualties, but I thought of him

Egyptian nation-wide TV interviewed a woman who lost her husband in the bombings. I want you to see this interview.

Even though they speak in Arabic, there are English subtitles.

Egyptian Christians are made of steel.

This is a Muslim man saying this about Christians after a Christian woman was interviewed.

Let’s let the world know who we really are.

If we are Not People of Steel, then we need a touch from Jesus, today.

Let’s be people of Steel.

Let’s be people who live on purpose.

Let’s be people who learn God’s Will, together.

Let’s be people who follow God’s Will together.



Song—See His Love




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