As Jesus was dying a criminal's death on the cross, He looked at his mother, Mary. "Dear woman," He said, "here is your son," referring to the disciple John (John 19:26). Next, He looked at John and said: "Here is your mother" (John 19:27). From that moment, John took Mary in as His mother. With His dying breath, Jesus wanted to be sure that His mother was taken care of after He died. Clearly, Jesus treated His mother with honor, which is a command given in Scripture in Exodus 20. We are going to talk about this command and how we can show honor to our parents and those who are like parents to us.
Who have you seen honor their parents well? How did they do so?
1. In your own words, define the word honor.
2. What is your relationship like with your parents? If your parents are no longer on earth, or your relationship with them is nonexistent, who in your life has been like a parent to you?
3. As the fifth of ten instructions given to the people of Israel in Exodus 20, it is clear that honoring parents is important to God. Why do you think this was so important to Him?
4. Do you find the command to honor your parents easy or difficult to keep? Why or why not?
5. Read John 19:23-27. How does Jesus' statement in these verses demonstrate honor towards His mother, Mary?
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
6. If you are a parent, what has parenthood taught you about God? How has parenthood specifically tried your patience? How has it been a joy?
7. Read 1 Timothy 5:1-8. For you specifically, what can you do this week to show honor to your parents or those who have become like parents to you?
1 Timothy 5: 1-8
Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.
Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism.
But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.
One of the most honoring things we can do for our parents, or those who have become parents, is pray for them. As a group, share specific ways that you all can be praying for your parents or those who are like parents to you. Then, after everyone has shared, pray for your parents. Pray specifically for their needs and then pray that God would remind them this week just how much He loves them.
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But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.