“And the man (Adam) called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). This is the first time that the word “mother” was used in the Word of God and it was used in a very personal way and also in an historical manner. Adam called his wife Eve in a personal way and in doing so honored her for being the mother of their children. The word was used in an historical sense because she would be the mother of all living. While there is no written record every human being can trace their physical lineage back to Eve. Figuratively speaking Adam was celebrating the first Mother’s Day.
The Bible does not inform the reader concerning how many children Eve had, but it is evident that Adam and Eve had sufficient enough children to begin populating the earth and also to outlive at least one of their children (Abel) (Genesis 4:8). As one proceeds through the books of Genesis, Exodus, and others in the Old Testament the names of women who were also godly mothers are recorded such as; Sara (Genesis 21:1-3), Rebekah, and Jochebed (Moses’ mother – Exodus 6:20), Hannah (1 Samuel 1) as well as many other mothers that were named and also remained nameless as far as the Bible is concerned. These mothers mentioned in the Old Testament and many other godly mothers in the New Testament were honored for being mothers that took seriously their responsibilities in the home.
The New Testament began with the mention of the word “mother” at the announcement of the coming birth of Jesus. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; when his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). There was great rejoicing at the news as is indicated by what is recorded by Luke; “And Mary said; ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior’” (Luke 1:46-47). When she finally understood what was happening and the implications of it all it was then that Mary rejoiced that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the Savior of the world. Throughout Jesus’ life Mary his mother can be seen being a positive and present influence in his life. There is the example of how Joseph and Mary traveled annually to Jerusalem traveling as a family and Jesus being present and the time when Jesus was twelve years old and was found in the Temple (Luke 2:42-52). Mary is seen at Jesus’ first miracle as she instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus would tell them to do (John 2:5). Mary and other women are present even at his death on the cross to provide her support from a mother that loved her son (John 19:25).
Mary must have been present many other times in Jesus’ life as considering an historical moment Luke wrote about Mary; “and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart” (Luke 2:51), referring to the many sayings of Jesus. Mary was honored by Jesus’ life as he kept the will of God perfectly, spoke out against the injustices of his day by the religious leaders, and even when on the cross as her oldest son provided care for her at his death (John 19:26-27). Jesus did what true children of God should do and that is to honor their parents. The Law of Moses had taught the children of Israel to honor their parents and Paul would repeat the command in the New Testament as he wrote to the Lord’s church in Ephesus. “Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise)” (Ephesians 6:2). The giving honor to whom honor is due because of the great love and sacrifice that parents have made for their children. Just as a child is to honor its mother it would be true that mothers should live a life worthy of honor in service to God and providing care and instruction to their children (Ephesians 6:4).