An Answer of “YES!”
As we draw closer to Christmas and ponder the birth of our Savior, it is only fair that we take a moment to ponder Mary, that special young mother whose faith changed the world.
Mary was just a young teen. Like any other girl her age, she was looking forward to marriage and raising a family. She had NO IDEA what was about to be asked of her! Just imagine an angel coming to you, telling you that you would be impregnated with the Son of God. Mary…not even wed yet…had this challenge placed before her.
She could have said, “NO WAY!” She could have laughed at the angel in disbelief or shunned what God wanted from her. But not Mary. Her faith was strong and her obedience was stronger. “I am the Lord’s servant” Mary answered, “Your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38). Mary had an awesome reverence for God. No doubt she had apprehensions…what was Joseph going to say? What would her family and friends say? Would anyone believe his immaculate conception? Mary could be stoned to death for her indiscretion. But Mary’s faith did not waiver. She said “Yes”, knowing the challenges that lay ahead of her in the near future, but trusting God through it all. Are you as trusting and faithful in your service to God?
Yes, she realized the scorn she would face, and the test this would be on her relationship with Joseph. And surely she had heard the tales of childbirth and the pain she would face when Jesus entered the world. But did she realize that she would not be surrounded by her mother or familiar women when that time came? Did she have any idea that her first experience with childbirth would be in a smelly stable with only Joseph at her side?
Even more so, did she realize what the future held for her heart? She would have a child, who at the age of 12, would rather sit in the temple than be with her. “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, siting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and his mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought You anxiously.’ And He said to them, ‘Why do you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:41-49) From the time they are born, we are preparing to lose our children. He was doing exactly what He was brought here to do. But Mary was still a mama, and not being able to find Him was frightening to her.
Later, as an adult, He would fail to acknowledge her as she knocked at the door to see him. “While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, ‘Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.’ But He answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ (Matthew 12:46-49) That might have heart her “mama heart” just a little bit, don’t you think? This is just another example of her “losing” Him.
What about all the time that Jesus spent walking the land, preaching and teaching? Everyone wanted a piece of Him…a touch of His hand, a bit of His time, a stroke of His garment. She must have spent a lot of time standing on the sidelines as others monopolized her son’s time. Doesn’t this happen to us? When they are small, we are their everything. They get older and friends are more important. They get married and pull away a little more.
Finally, there is His crucifixion. Could she ever have imagined she would live through such pain and anguish as seeing her firstborn tortured and tormented in such a way? Was it ever feasible in her mind that she would stand at the foot of a cross, her heart in misery, as her baby took His last, painful breath? The suffering our children go through is often from their own poor choices. But even when our children love and serve God, they still suffer. When they hurt, we hurt.
Had Mary known all the fear, pain, and sorrow that was to come, would she have taken on the task of being mother to the Christ child? I say, YES SHE WOULD!
She KNEW she was bringing the Son of God into the world. She KNEW much was to be expected of Him. She KNEW it would not be easy. But she also knew what a tremendous, precious gift she was being given. She knew what an honor and privilege it was to be chosen. She knew that God had great favor for her. She trusted that God would give her all she needed to accomplish the task. She believed! And because of her belief, she experienced that sweet baby in a manger. She took pride in her Son’s ability to preach, teach, and reach, even at a young age. She found honor, I am sure, in the following He acquired as He healed, prayed, and taught His way across the land. She had a great sense of honor, through her pain, for a Son who would lay down His life, His sinless life, for the sins of all mankind. He was a Son who, before He took His last breath, made sure His mama was taken care of. “When Jesus therefore saw his other, 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!’” (John 19:27-27) And she found such overwhelming comfort in the resurrection of her Son and His ascension into Heaven. Jesus was a gift to Mary and she treasured Him. “And His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:55)