Mary - The Mother of Jesus
Sunday, 13 May 2012 00:18 Jonathan L. Perz
Depending upon whom you talk to, you are going to hear varying views of Mary. Is she divine? Should she be worshipped? Are we too dismissive of her as a woman in God’s word? Was her conception immaculate? What was she really like? These and many other questions, some even of a conspiratorial nature, are commonly asked. However, one of the most important facts about Mary is often overlooked in the face of all of these other queries—Mary was the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In and of itself, this simple fact merits praise and adoration. Such veneration should not rise beyond that or be on par with that place only the Lord can hold in our hearts, nevertheless, even the angel of the Lord said, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28). On earth, there is no greater, no more noble of a profession for a women to proclaim than that of being a mother. All that motherhood entails should remind us of this. Yet sadly, we so often relegate the celebration of motherhood to a mere annual activity. Yet, when we think of motherhood, how can we escape thinking for a moment about she who bore Jesus, the Christ, into the world. “Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring for a Son, and shall call His name Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31).
Of all mothers, Mary was able to experience not only all of the joys of motherhood, but the pains of motherhood as well ... perhaps even more so than most. Consider for a moment some of things this mother would experience...
Can you imagine what it would be like to have shepherds and wise men of other nations come and offer praise, gifts and worship at the birth of your Son (Luke 2:8-20; Matt. 2:1, 9-11)? The text says Mary “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
Can you fathom what it would be like to have prophets make prophecies concerning your son, at the tender age of eight days old (Luke 2:25-38)? The text says both Joseph and Mary “marveled at those things which were spoken of Him” (Luke 2:33).
Can you grasp what it would be like to come seeking your twelve old Son, left behind in the city, only to have Him reply, “Why did you seek me? Did you not know I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)? This also Mary kept in her heart (Luke 2:51b).
Can you envision what it would be like to knowingly call upon your Son to turn water into wine for a wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-10)?
Can you even begin to relate to what it would be like to watch souls flock to your Son and heed His teaching, witness the miracles done by His hand and rejoice in the blessings He came to bestow?
Too many are there to mention and too much space would it require to acknowledge the wonders done by Jesus the Christ that would bring such joy to the heart of His mother on earth. Yet, the life of this mother was not to be all joy and gladness at the bearing of Jesus. Simeon’s prophetic words promised, “This Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword shall pierce your through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35). Can you even imagine?
Can you feel the potential hurt, even realizing its necessity, of a mother publicly esteemed less than the disciples who followed her Son (Mark 3:34-35)?
Can you feel the fear for such a Son — a son whose very presence and teaching garnered the envy, fear and wrath of so many powerful and influential men who were actually seeking His death (cf. Matt. 15:12; Matt. 27:18)?
Can you even begin to realize what it would be like to see your righteous Son tried, beaten, scourged, mocked, ridiculed and rejected such as Jesus, the son of Mary, was? Was Mary among the women who mourned and lamented Jesus as He carried His cross, with the help of Simon, to Golgotha (cf. John 1:26-31)?
Can you even come to terms with what it would have been like to witness your Son crucified on the cross of Calvary, not for sins of His own, but for the sins of the very men who hung him there, as well as those of the whole world? The text says, “Now there stood 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 whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:25-27). Can you imagine your son thinking of you while hanging on the cross?
Can you appreciate that level of amazement that must have accompanied the declaration that Jesus had risen from the dead (John 20:1-18)?
Can you even begin to comprehend what this mother must have felt when her slain Son appeared to His disciples, she likely among them (John 20:19-29)?
Can you imagine the wonder of this mother watching her Son (assuming she was again among the disciples) ascend to God Almighty’s right hand in heaven with all authority both on earth and in heaven and hearing the promise of His return (Acts 1:9-11)? Even simply hearing the recounting of such a declaration would be overwhelming!
Can you picture what it would have been to be a mother worshipping with the disciples of your Son and Lord, the Son of God, in that upper room in the days leading up to Pentecost (Acts 1:12-14) as they tarried for a promise given by your Son?
Indeed, the idea of motherhood is amazing enough. The idea of being the mother of Jesus is beyond comprehension. We don’t need to make up stories about Mary to understand why she is praiseworthy. The scriptures alone show why Mary is worthy of praise and adoration, emulation and wonder. Mary, as an example of motherhood, should remind us to honor all mothers who love their children, love their husbands and strive to be godly women, — a calling which is truly precious in the sight of God (cf. Tit. 2:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-6).