Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Lineage of Grace - MARY

Mary is the last woman mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. She had Jesus through what is known as a virgin birth - she never knew a man, but the Holy Spirit impregnated her. Even as I type that, I can't wrap my mind around it, so I can only imagine what Mary must have felt. One minute she's a normal young lady, the next she's pregnant and there's a young, unique life growing in her.

By the time the angel spoke to Mary, the Jewish people had been waiting for Messiah for a long time. Life was very difficult, and the Messiah would make things better. When the angel Gabriel addressed her, he told her that she was favored and that she would blessed with a child named Jesus, the Messiah. Mary in her humanness asked, "But how can this happen, seeing I know not a man?" Gabriel replied, "the Holy Spirit will overshadow you and the baby born to you will be holy."  After all of this transpires, Mary gracefully accepts her assignment.

As it is laid out in the book, the author provides a perspective of what it must have been like to be the mother of Jesus from infancy to adulthood, watching Him as he is crucified. As a mother, I know that all toddlers aren't obedient and well behaved - they require great training and discipline; apparently Jesus the toddler did not. [Please note, this is not mentioned in the Bible].

Because Mary knew who Jesus was she listened to her son in ways that some how don't seem to make sense to us. Consider the story of when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus for three days and he was found in the temple in deep discussion with the religious leaders. A frightened Mary asks Jesus how could he have done this? He replied "...know ye not that I must be about my father's business?" It's a stinging statement that immediately removes the panic but also indicates knowledge and self assurance. His parents did not understand.
There's also the instance when Jesus turned water in to wine. He appeared to speak to his mother harshly, yet she then told the servants to do whatever He tells you to do.

Mary had the burden of knowing -she knew her Son was the promised Messiah, but she watched as so many did not believe. He was there, yet they did not know or did not accept him. That can only pain a mother's heart, but Mary pondered all these things in her heart.

Can you relate to Mary? What does it mean to be favored? If you are favored by God, do you question God? How do you know you are favored? How would you parent a child that only you knew was different? Today we hover and are overprotective - contrast that to Mary's parenting style of Jesus. Is it ever OK for a child to be indignant to a parent? How can you learn from your children? Do you ponder as you raise your children?

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