And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28)
Hear The Word And Obey The Word
It takes the heart of a mother to know the value of a faithful son. Throughout the wisdom literature, young men are admonished to honor their mothers, not forsake the law of their mothers, never despise their mother, and never bring grief to the heart of the one who bore them into the world. The death penalty was imposed upon those who cursed their mothers. A mother’s heart sees the beauty of a good son who honors God and honors the family. As Jesus was defending Himself against the charges of the scribes and Pharisees accusing Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, a woman in the crowd was struck by the demeanor of Mary’s son with His clarity and boldness against His accusers. It was not her place to speak, but her heart was overwhelmed with respect for a mother’s son as she listened to Jesus. She cried out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came and the breasts that nursed you!”
Jesus loved His mother very much and owed such a debt of gratitude to her. There existed between the two a special bond that no one could understand. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit into the womb of a virgin, and Mary carried Jesus for nine months as a normal pregnancy. On that night in Bethlehem, she gave birth to the Son of God, and the angels broke forth in heavenly wonder and praise. There were many things that Mary kept in her heart as she watched her little boy grow to manhood. Simeon had warned the mother of Jesus that a sword would pierce through her soul. Jesus was obedient to His mother and grew in stature, increasing in wisdom and favor of God and men. Other children were born to Mary, and Jesus had half-brothers and sisters. When Jesus began His ministry, Mary was there. At the cross where Jesus was treated so contemptuously as a common criminal, the mother of the Son of God stood by without uttering a word. With the eternal weight of sin bearing down upon Jesus, He takes a moment to tell His mother He loves her and begs John to care for her. Jesus loved His mother.
The woman in the crowd was right to seek blessings on the woman who bore Jesus into the world. Jesus was not insensitive to her remark and was not disrespecting His mother. What Jesus wanted the woman and others to understand was the greatest blessings were found in those who would hear the word of God and keep it. The Jewish leaders had charged Jesus with casting out demons by Beelzebub. This blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was unforgivable. There was a time and place to honor mothers who bore faithful sons, but a crisis filled the land with hypocrisy, hatred, and envy from the scribes and Pharisees seeking to kill Jesus. What the multitudes needed to understand was God demanded obedience to His word above all things. It was important to honor mothers, but the man who hears the word of God and obeys it was the true blessing. Salvation comes from hearing the word of God and keeping the commands of the Lord.
Hearing the word of God is not enough. Keeping the word requires obedience. Salvation cannot be found in faith alone or hearing the word alone. Believing Jesus is the Son of God is a part of salvation, but this belief alone will not save a man. The will of the Father must be kept, obeyed, and followed according to the word of God. It is easy to say one believes in Jesus and never follows His word. The woman from the crowd was good to say nice things about the mother of Jesus but being a good mother or having a good son is not where salvation can be found. Truth must be heard and obeyed. The greatest blessing a man can possess is the salvation of his soul. Hear it and keep it.