Happy Mother’s Day! Today’s study discusses Mary, the mother of our Risen Savior Jesus Christ. We read about her throughout the gospels. The discussion about Mary comes from Luke 1:28-50, Luke 2 John 19:25-27 , Acts 1:12-14.
Throughout her life, Mary demonstrated faith, trust, courage, and humility. Her belief in God was apparent through her words and deeds. We read about her faith during times of difficulty, happiness, struggles, and sadness.
Mary was a Jewish girl engaged to a man named Joseph when she was visited by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel told Mary that she would be having a child and He will be called the Son of God. Mary was no doubt, shocked and confused. We read that when the angel first greeted her, ‘But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’ Luke 1:29-30. When Gabriel delivered the news to Mary that she would be carrying the Son of God, she questioned him on how could that be. It’s obvious why Mary would be experiencing these feelings. This wasn’t possible because she was a virgin. But Gabriel provided an explanation and an example of the power of God. ‘And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” ‘ Luke 1:35-37
Mary humbly replied the angel’s words. ‘And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.’ Luke 1:38. And showed exemplary faith in God.
Mary must have known the cost of being an unwed mother, but instead of worrying about what could happen to her, she chose to praise God and see the blessing she’d been given.
And Mary said:Luke 1:46-50
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.”
Mary prepared herself for raising this child. When the shepherds visited, she listened to their words and ‘Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.’ Luke 2:18-19. It appears Mary took her parenting role seriously. She knew the importance of being the mother to the Messiah. She was diligent and mindful about being a mother to the Son of God. She, along with her husband Joseph, did their part in caring for and nurturing Jesus. ‘And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.’ Luke 2:39-40.
Parenting is never an easy task and I cannot imagine the stress and worry that came with parenting God’s son. Mary had struggles as a parent we can never understand. She not only had to rear the human child that Jesus was, but she also dealt with His deity. In Luke 2:41-52 when Joseph and Mary could not find Jesus, we read how they became aware he was missing and went looking for Him. When they discovered Jesus in the temple, they were astonished. ‘And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.’ Luke 2:48-52 Scripture never reveals to us if Mary struggled with doubt in parenting Jesus, but it does tell us she treasured it.
Mary did her part of parenting and Jesus received it. In the verse after Jesus answered Mary’s question, we read that Jesus ‘was submissive to them‘. Joseph and Mary obviously did not neglect their teaching and disciplining of Jesus. Jesus obeyed them and he grew and found favor in God’s eyes.
I think it can be said Mary earned the respect and appreciation of her Son. In John 19 we read that Mary stood by the cross when Jesus hung dying. Here we read Jesus made a point to ensure Mary would be cared for after He was gone. ‘These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold, thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold, thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home.’ John 19:25-27
After Jesus last act of care for His mother, Mary then witnessed the death of Jesus. For Christ’s followers and friends, it was a horrific incident to obverse. But she was more than a friend and follower, she was also His mother. How hard it must have been for her to witness the crucifixion of her first born son. Mary was present for Jesus even though it had to have been torment for her to witness all the pain and agony he endured. Standing by Jesus during His darkest hour, Mary showed incredible love, courage, strength, and faith.
Mary’s faith shines throughout God’s word. In Acts, we read how she continued in living her faith with other followers of Jesus. ‘Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is nigh unto Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey off. And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding; both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.’ Acts 1:12-14
Mary’s humble heart as a young, unmarried girl, strength during her time as a mother, and trust and obedience throughout her life clearly portrays her as a woman of faith.
Until next time