“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”Luke 2:17-19
Having raised two kids of my own, I can remember times when I would look on those little, wonderful babies and think, “Can they get any cuter, any smarter, any more inquisitive, or funny?” It was so much fun watching them discover the wonders of this life and how things work, and as they grew, they discovered more about themselves, their passions, and dreams. It is truly the joy of motherhood to be given the privilege to be up close and personal to God’s wondrous little humans.
When I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, I am filled with wonder again, but this time I am conflicted with so many emotions. She obviously knew that His birth was a miracle because she above any other human knew how He was conceived (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-37). I’m sure she looked upon His sinless childhood and asked herself so many times how she could have been chosen for this enjoyable journey—the perfect two-year-old, the perfect big brother, the perfect adolescent, the perfect adult son. What a sweet ride!
But then, I remember that Mary was a Jewish girl (Luke 1), raised with the Torah and the Prophets readily available to her on any day at any time. I have to believe that when Mary discovered who her Son would be, she began to search the Scriptures for more of His description, His assignment from the Lord, and ultimately His fulfillment of those same Scriptures.
And I ask myself when I read about her bold moves recorded in the Bible: “What was she thinking?” For example, at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11) when she told Jesus to turn the water into the best wine, perhaps she was thinking: “It is time for everyone to discover about the Son of Man the things I already know.” Or what was she thinking when she came to take Jesus home because “he was not in his right mind” (Mark 3:20-34)? Was she trying to rescue Him from danger, take Him home where she could care for Him, and perhaps hide Him from the inevitable coming storm, delaying God’s plans? And finally, what was Mary thinking when she observed the final week in Jerusalem when Jesus showed His deity, authority, and ultimate sacrifice for all? Did Mary remember that He would conquer death as she had read in Isaiah 53, or was she simply taking in the fulfillment of His suffering?
Whatever the answers to all my questions are, this one thing I know: Mary was courageous because Mary believed (Luke 1:46-55). Mary had hope, and on that day of her Son’s resurrection, Mary had to laugh, and perhaps look up to God the Father with a wink and a nod, finally understanding the answers to all her questions, and now confident that God had the answers all along the journey.
Finally, my last question regarding Mary the mother of Jesus: What was it like when she met her son, God’s Son, the Son of Man face to face again? Did He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:1-40) and “Welcome home, Mom”? I think He did! Mary is one of those I’d like to visit when I get to heaven, just to hear her personal journey as she experienced the joys of motherhood with the One who would ultimately save her.
Questions for Thought
- As you look at Mary’s life, what characteristics do you see that God saw when He chose her to be the bearer of his Son? Were these her characteristics, or were they God’s in her?
- When you remember that Mary knew the outcome of her Son’s earthly life and ministry, there had to be times where she was overcome with grief and fear. How do you think she recovered during those times? How can we recover when we also are overcome with grief and fear?
Make a list of anxieties you may have for your future or the future of your family. Pray through that list. If Mary can live her life with courage, knowing the danger that was to come for herself and her Son, we can look at her example and trust that God was certainly with her through it all. We also can live our lives knowing that God is certainly with us through all of our trials. We can have courage because Jesus has already won the victory!
Pam is passionate about representing the women of the church and equipping them for ministry to one another, encouraging them in their own discipleship to expand for the kingdom of God. She and her husband, David, have two children, Ben and Natalie, and four grandsons.