Mothers are often in the background. They rarely find their name in lights. Yet their influence spans across generations. The old adage “the hands that rock the cradle rule the world” is true.
There are many mothers named in the Bible.
Eve, the mother of all mankind, was the first wife and mother. Moses’ mother, Jochebed, serving as a nurse maid, was able to raise her son in the king’s palace. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, was a praying mother. Mary was the mother of our LORD and Savior. These and many others make for a profitable study.
But I’d like to also consider the unnamed women of the Bible.
The mother of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and wife of Noah, remains to this day simply, Mrs. Noah. Recall Potiphar’s wife and her false accusations against Joseph. Consider Pilate’s wife and her confession of Jesus’ innocence when she pled for her husband to “have nothing to do with that just Man.”
Peter’s wife and mother-in-law are both unnamed women. His mother-in-law is mentioned in a passage found in Matthew 8:14-15. There is an interesting detail easily overlooked in these 2 verses.
So what do we know from reading this text? We know Peter was married. We can also infer that Peter had children because he was an elder (1 Peter 5:1, 1 Timothy 3:4). And thus we have two unnamed mothers in this text.
For today, let us consider his mother-in-law and the incident described in Matthew 8. Peter’s ailing mother-in-law was being cared for in his home. Imagine what her mindset might have been. She is sick; she is living with her daughter and son-in-law. She is an older woman, perhaps thinking her life was over; maybe she thought it was her time to die.
What kind of changes had she seen come over Peter? Peter who once was a fisherman was now this great apostle of Jesus Christ. Imagine the changes she had seen it make in him. What has she heard Peter say about the Savior? She was part of the generation that saw the coming of the Messiah. And this day, she has witnessed Jesus come into the house. Imagine a personal visit from the great Physician. He is there to heal her.
Now note how the text ends. Verse 15 says that when she was healed of the fever, she arose and served them. Doesn’t that describe most mothers? She served. That’s what mothers do. They serve. She didn’t rise to begin doing something she had not done all her life. That was her life. She served. Mothers serve.
My mother was one who served. She worked an evening shift as a nurse and got home around midnight each night. Yet she was always up in the morning before I was. She served. I never remember her not having a hot breakfast for us before we left for school.
During her hospital work various patients and visitors would give her soft drinks or candy bars. But she never opened them. She brought them home to two young boys. In fact, it was known by her co-workers that if you gave her something you would have to open it or she would slip it in her purse to carry home. She served.
She would always find a newspaper at work and bring it home for us to read. That was the only newspaper we ever had.
She worked extra shifts each year to buy school clothes.
I never heard her complain. She served.
My mother has been gone for many years but her influence still abides in her children and grandchildren. You see, by the world’s standards we were poor. But no man is poor who is blessed with a loving, serving mother. And we were. Thank you, Mom.