The Biblical command of honoring our parents is not reserved for children, but is for persons of all ages.

An Encounter with Jesus

According to Matthew 15 (NLT), here is an encounter that the Pharisees had with Jesus:

“Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.

They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?

For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’

But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’

In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites!”

What’s Taught About Honoring Our Parents

When we think about honoring our parents, we usually think about three things:

  1. What we think about our parents
  2. What we say to our parents
  3. What we say about our parents

Of course, we are supposed to honor our parents in these ways; and most sermons about honoring parents focus on these three topics.

However, the Bible speaks of honoring our parents in a way that isn’t often taught from the pulpit.

What’s Forgot About Honoring Our Parents

In the passage we read, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and says, “But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’”

Many of the Pharisees had descent enough finances to be able to take care of their parents, but they used their position as a religious leader as an excuse. They essentially said, “Sorry mom and dad, I’d love to help you out, but I promised that I would use my money to honor God.” Then Jesus comes along and says, “Excuse me, the way that you honor God is by honoring your parents!”

Adults, Honor Your Parents

The Biblical command of honoring our parents is not reserved for children, but is for persons of all ages. In the passage that we just read, Jesus is getting on grown adult men for not honoring their parents.

Let’s vow to not be like the Pharisees and say, “Sorry, I can’t help you because [insert excuse here.]”

Let’s vow to honor our parents with our thoughts and words, but let’s also vow to honor them with our time, finances, gifts, etc.

Let’s vow to honor God by honoring our parents!