Message: The mothers of Salem - an example to all parents.
Scripture: "And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them," Mark 10:13.
How often in God's Word are the words and actions of godly women set forth as an example for us all.
I have admired the mother of Samuel and her glorious words in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. And of course, the Book of Ruth presents to us that wonderful young woman and the grace of God in her life. In the New Testament we have many wonderful women such as Mary the mother the Saviour, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Phebe, referred to by Paul.
To this list we must add the women referred to in our text, though we cannot name them.
I would like to speak a little tonight of these mothers:
I. THEY WERE ENGAGED IN THE HIGHEST DUTY OF A PARENT
They 'brought young children to him.'
1. Please note that children can be brought to Christ from an early age! The same word is used in Matt 2:8. Here Christ was about 2 years old, verse 16. Parent, please take note of this age.
2. The word 'brought' carries the meaning of 'offered', 'presented'. Matt 2:11. "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." This word indicates the spirit in which these mothers brought their children.
3. It was not worldly or temporal advancement for their children that these mothers sought! Their's was an act of homage and worship. They were like Hannah of old. They were offering their children to the Lord. "For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there," 1 Samuel 1:27-28.
Only mothers who act as did these mothers may expect to received the full benefits of a Christian Education!
II. THE MOTHERS CAME TO CHRIST DESPITE THE REPROACH THAT SURROUNDED THE SAVIOUR
Note verse 2. "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him." "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him," Matthew 19:3.
1. There was a large section of Israel that rejected the Saviour. The Pharisees were an important influence. They would have had no sympathy whatever with these women honouring the Lord Jesus. These mother's paid a price for what they did for they would have been despised by these Pharisees!
I am afraid that a similar reproach surrounded Christian Education when it started 40 years ago and it was spoken against by many!
2. Even good men were opposed to the actions of these mothers. "And the disciples rebuked them." That must have been hard to bear!
3. Such opposition grieved the Lord. "But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased," Mark 10:14. I have no doubt that the attitude of some FPs displeased the Lord. His Word displays that fact.
III. THE BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS RECEIVED FROM THE SAVIOUR
"And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them," Mark 10:16. He complied with the wishes of the mothers.
1. He lifted them up. He lifted them up above their usual level of existence and brought them close to His heart.
That is what CE should do for a child. Let all teachers take note!
2. He put His hands upon them. "O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory," Psalm 98:1. Under the hand of the Lord is the place of victory and blessing.
Marks says he put "his hands" upon them - a multiplicity of blessings and mercies were thus bestowed.
3. He blessed them. "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it," Proverbs 10;22.
I know that these children went forth in life enjoying the blessing of God as a result of the faith and courage of their mothers. I have no doubt that each one of them are in heaven. You cannot be blessed of Christ and miss heaven.
Amen. May the Lord bless His Word to our hearts.