Friday, December 27, 2013

Thoughts on Mary, Luke 1 & 2


Have you ever taken the time to notice what the Bible says about Mary, the mother of Jesus?  You almost have to read between the lines, because there are only a few comments here and there... often overlooked when you read the Christmas story.  {At least I overlooked them.}  A few years back, I began to notice those little one-liners about Mary that Luke mentioned in his Gospel.

Luke 1:27 "... a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary." 
Virginity is laughed at in our culture today-- but a person's virginity is very precious to God.  If Mary had been a "loose" girl, God never could have chosen her to bear the Son of God!

Luke 1:28  "And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
What does one have to be like to be  highly favored?  Righteous. Holy. Submissive spirit. Pure in body, mind, and heart.

Luke 1:29  "But when she saw him,{the angel} she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was."
Mary was troubled at first. She was scared!  She knew she would be giving up her flawless reputation.  She took the news patiently, with faith.

Luke 1:34 'Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”'
She wasn't afraid to ask a question.  She wanted to fully understand what was going on.

Luke 1:38 "Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her."  Mary trusted the Lord with all her heart.  Her heart of submission to the Lord was beyond compare.

Luke 1:45 Elizabeth blessed Mary for her faith in the Lord to carry out this honorable task. "...Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Luke 2:6-7 "So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Mary gave birth in a barn! {or a cave}.  Is there any documentation of complaining here?  NONE!  She was so patient and trusting.

Luke 2:16  "And they {the shepherds} came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger." Mary was very gracious to allow all these strangers to come visit her new baby immediately after the birth.  She seemed to understand that He was not "her" child, but belonged to the Lord and all mankind.

Luke 2:19  "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."  
She didn't call her friends.
She didn't tell everyone.
She didn't even tell her husband!
These things were part of her relationship with God.

Luke 2:22-24  "Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Luke 2:39  "So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth."
Matthew 2: 13-15   "Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Joseph and Mary were obedient to the law of the Lord.  Just think... they could have been proud and thought, "This is God in the flesh... these rituals for man are not necessary." but the thought never crossed their minds.  They obeyed without hesitation. Had Joseph not obeyed and immediately fled to Egypt, we may not have had a Savior at all!  God knew that Joseph and Mary were the ones whom He could trust to properly care for His only Son!

Luke 2:51  "Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart."  Imagine having a son who obeyed in all things?  Pride could have easily crept in at that point, too, but Mary always knew that He was God's Son, and she was only the vessel for Him to carry out His plan.

John 2:1-5 "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.   
Mary always believed He was God.  Though He had never yet performed a miracle, she knew He was capable of anything.  She was His number one fan!

There is so much we can learn from Mary!  She is a model of Christian womanhood and motherhood.  She is an inspiration to me: to be a better, more focused mother; to be the "biggest fan" of all of my children! One who ponders things in her heart, rather than blabbing to all.  One who obeys in all things, out of my love for my God, and as an example to them.  Mary is an example for our young daughters, too!  Protecting her virginity, keeping her heart and mind pure.  Waiting for God's calling, and willing to obey whatever He calls them to do!

I hope the next time you read the Christmas story, you, too, will see Mary in a different light.