A Mother’s Request 母の願い

A few stories of Mum – telephone books, my ugly jumper, the local shrink etc
Today, being Mothers’ Day, I would like to speak about one of the mothers in the Bible. Quiz time. Special prize for anyone who can guess which mother in the Bible I will be speaking on! 私が今から語る人物が聖書の中のどの母か当てた人には特別賞があります。
Answer: The mother of James and John, the “Sons of Thunder”.答え:“雷の子”と呼ばれるヤコブとヨハネの母
(I wonder what it must have been like raising two boys like that – similar to my Mum raising four boys?) I wonder what sort of Mum she was. We get an inkling of it in this story:

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down,asked a favor of him.
21 “What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

That’s some request! And it leads to the question that I’d like to ask all mothers here this morning (and, secretly, fathers, too): What do you want for your children? If you could list down in order exactly what you would like for your children, what would top the list? What would the pecking order be? なんという願いでしょう。ではここで今朝ここにいるお母さんたちに質問してみたいと思います。子供に何を願っていますか?

For many of us perhaps a good education, a successful career, a happy home, good health, an easier life than we’ve had – might be at the top of the list. And why not? These are good things. 私たちの多くは、良い教育、出世、幸せな家庭、健康、自分たちよりも楽な生活などをリストのトップに挙げるでしょう。もちろん、それらはいいことです。

But these are good answers to the wrong question. The question really isn’t ‘What do you want for your children?’. The question is ‘What does God want for your children?’ I suspect that as good as the first list is, it’s really not going to look quite the same as the list that God would write down – the things that He wants for our children.
しかし、これらは間違った質問への良い答えです。‘あなたは子供に何を願っていますか’ではなく、‘神は子供に何を願っていますか’なのです。最初のリストはいいのですが、神が私たちの子供に願っていることを書き留めるリストとはかなり違っていることでしょう。

What does God want for our children? Sometimes I don’t think we give that question as much thought as we should. 神は私たちの子供に何を願っているのでしょう?

To help answer this question, let’s come back to James and John’s Mum’s request.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
What Mum wouldn’t want that for her kids?! And it didn’t seem totally out of place either. James and John were loyal followers. They were not only in the ‘top 12’ disciples, but they were (along with Peter) in the top 3! And John was considered by many to be Jesus’ favourite. So maybe Mum’s request was fair enough.
それを子供に願わない母がいるでしょうか?

But look at Jesus’ answer:イエスの答えを見てみましょう。
22 “You don’t know what you are asking,”. Even though she was asking for something good for her boys, she wasn’t in sync with God’s will. She didn’t even know what she was asking! She was asking for what she wanted for her boys. But she really hadn’t thought much about what God had planned for her boys.
彼女は自分の息子に願っていることを求めています。しかし神が息子たちに計画しておられることをあまり考えたことがないのです。

There’s more to this story though. Let’s look more carefully at the answer Jesus gives:
22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”Mum asks the question but Jesus answers the brothers directly. We get the sneaking suspicion that her boys might have put her up to this.
母が尋ねましたが、イエスは兄弟たちに直接答えています。兄弟たちが母にそう言わせたのではないかとひそかに疑いたくなります。

“We can,” they answered.
23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.

Note that the other ten disciples were not angry with Mum but with the brothers.
他の10人の弟子たちは母にではなく兄弟たちに腹を立てていることに注目してください。

Jesus goes on to teach them the nature of the Kingdom of God and the things that God would like for his followers – and this includes us:
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

This is not what they wanted! This is not what they were asking for! They wanted the top spots and Jesus tells them they have to be servants and slaves!
これは彼らが求めていたことではありません。彼らは首位の座につきたかったのですが、イエスは仕える者や奴隷になりなさいと言っています。

Let me come back to the question I first asked you Mums (and Dads). When I asked you what you wanted for your kids, how many of you said, “I’d really like my kids to be servants and slaves”? お母さんたちに聞いた最初の質問にもどりましょう。子供に何を願っていますかと聞かれたとき、“仕える者や奴隷になってほしいんです”と言った人は何人いるでしょう?

So often the Kingdom of God appears to be upside down and back to front because God’s ways and plans are so utterly different from the ways and plans that we would make for ourselves and our loved ones because very often our requests and plans come out of our old sinful nature. 神の御国は逆さまであべこべなように思えることがしばしばです。なぜなら神の道や計画は私たちのものと全く違い、私たちの願いや計画は古い罪の性質から出てくることがしばしばだからです。

Pastor James Banks said, “I find that if I’m not careful, I get caught up in the world’s way of thinking: a successful future means the ‘right’ schools, major, career path, and spouse. That’s good as far as it goes, but it’s too shortsighted when eternity comes into view. “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36) If my kids are successful heathen who look good from the world’s point of view but will be separated from God for eternity, what kind of a future is that?”

Nothing matters more than getting right with God. Everything flows from that.
神と正しい関係にあることほど重要なことはありません。すべてはそこから 生じるのです。
Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Mat 6:33

God has a plan for your kids’ lives just as he has a plan for yours.
神はあなたの人生にご計画をもっておられるようにあなたの子供の人生にもご計画を持っておられます。
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

God doesn’t lie, deceive or make mistakes. His Word is true. He has a plan for your kids’ lives as He has a plan for your life. So our prayers and requests for our kids need to be “Father help me to want what You want for my child. Help him/her/them to love you more than anything else.” That’s what we need to be asking.
神は嘘をつかないし、だましたり、間違いをおかしたりしません。神の御言葉は真実です。神はあなたの人生にご計画をもっておられるようにあなたの子供の人生にもご計画を持っておられます。だから私たちの子供への祈りや願いは“父なる神様、あなたが私の子供に願っておられることを私も願えるようにしてください。私の子が他の何よりもあなたを愛することができるよう助けてください”となる必要があります。これが私たちの求めるべきことです。

And when that prayer is answered, your child will know true happiness.
そしてその祈りが答えられたら、あなたの子供は真の幸せを知るでしょう。

Pray.