““Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 NLT
The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The Ten Commandments are categorized as vertical and horizontal. The first four are vertical - relating to God. The remaining six are horizontal - relating to man. Because of this I, speculatively, believe that the original two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments have four on one and six on the other rather than five and five. The two categories, vertical and horizontal, intersect with father and mother. The visual imagery of this forms a cross. Our understanding of God, whom we look up to, is formed by our parents as they construct the spiritual infrastructure that will be carried with us the rest of our days. This is the horizontal application of a vertical understanding and relationship with God. The Ten Commandments are about relationship. First, with God. Secondarily, with man. Jesus, Himself, summed up the Ten Commandments as loving God and loving each other. In fact, He declared this to be the intent of the entire law of Moses and the Old Testament prophets. Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:37-40 NLT (See also Mark 12: 29-31). In the cross of Jesus the Ten Commandments are fulfilled and properly understood. When we come to Christ, at the cross, we are recognizing Jesus as the payment of our violation of all of God's Commandments. In Jesus, we are complete (see Colossians 2:10). The gospel message begins with a woman conceiving and giving birth to a child. In fact, God chose to become a man by His conception as a baby in the womb of Mary. The Messiah was birthed, humanly, into the world by a woman. Matthew 1:18 and 20 both declare that Jesus, as a baby (human being) was conceived by the Holy Spirit. As the physical, human mother of Jesus, Mary was chosen and allowed by God (our Father) to conceive, and birth into this world, the very God who had created us (see John 1:10; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2). Can you imagine what wonder and awe Mary must have felt and experienced as she held Him in her arms and knew she was rearing the God of Creation? Wow!!! Mind boggling!! By being born into this fallen race (humanity-the sons of Adam) Jesus, the One who had no sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5) took upon Himself the sin of Adam's race. Through human birth He overcame the sin that had us bound in slavery and death. If God chose to manifest Himself to the world by human birth, through a woman (motherhood) then I call upon mothers today to accept and understand the vital role you play in the propagation and preservation of the souls of man. This responsibility should not be demeaned or shunned. Instead, it needs to be embraced and championed. Mom, your role is so much more than just bearing a child, it is developing a child in the name of Christ and for the cause of Christ. Now that is significance!! Happy Mother's Day!
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Rev. Curtis Norris