Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Exodus 20:12
Remember, one of the Pharisee tested Jesus by asking:
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.”
We have looked discussed the first and greatest command. Today, we begin to look at the second greatest command. “39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
The Lord begins with the foundation of loving our parents and authority. God expects His children to love others and that it be proven out in how we respect and treat one another. My, my, my…as God has granted knowledge and the life expectancy to extend, it seems that as a society as we have become so self-centered and focused that for some this commandment has been put to the side.
Isn’t it something how we know the application of this verse so well when we are the parents and we relate it to our children…”children are to honor their parents.” But as our parents age and have greater needs, for some, it slips by us that God has commanded that children are to honor and respect our parents.
My granddad use to say as he aged – “once a man, twice a child.” He was speaking of his own recognition that he was aging and his need for help. My aunt loved, honored, and respected him so much that she brought him into her home and cared for him until the age of 96. She was able to do this in his old age because she loved, honored, and respected him in the early years and all the years between. We can’t all bring our parents home but we can all love, honor, respect and watch over their care and spend time in fellowship with them no matter where they reside. It should be a lifetime of love, honor, and respect demonstrated with action.
It is one of those times that we will let the Scriptures speak to show us how seriously God took this command in the Old Testament:
Exodus 21:15, 17, “Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death. “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.”
Leviticus 19:3, 32, “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God….“‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.“
Deuterontomy 27:16, “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
Proverbs 1:8, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
Proverbs 20:20, “If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.”
Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
Proverbs 30:17, “The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.”
From the lips of Jesus:
For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15:4-9
“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Mark 7:9-12
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.”