May 9, 2016.
The Mother of all.
Consider Mary’s life and what makes her to be honored and respected.
1) Mary was the cousin of Elisabeth (John the Baptist mother) whose husband was a priest, therefore, for this relationship (under Jewish law) both families would have had to be above reproach and good practitioners of the Jewish traditions and faith. There is no coincidence that John became Jesus forerunner to the good news and both parents were descendants of the twelve tribes through David and Solomon (David’s son). Their blood line is significant because God ordained it so. - Matt. 1. This is keeping with God's intent of "a people separated unto myself (God)".
2) Mary did not forget her place. She knew her royal lineage because this would have been recalled during family gatherings especially during Passover and other traditional get-togethers. Mary knew her responsibilities as a Jewish mother to uphold the traditions and especially the place of young males within and outlined by the Torah and Jewish laws. She also knew from history, God used several other women to save and preserve His people, the Jews. She would have been empowered by this history and not think it odd to be called by God for a purpose.
God was not about to take any random chance with the Salvation of mankind. Mary was selected not randomly as there would have been other virgins available, all from good Jewish families. She was called because God knew with His guidance and Spirit would be able to bear the life and death of His only begotten Son. It’s no different than when the mother of a child has to leave them with another, there is careful consideration to whom the child would be left with or it should be so. She was not perfect nor should be treated above any other, but given the respect and honor as any other chosen by God for critical work for His Salvation plan. When we place her on a pedestal (by man's perspective), we are essentially telling God, we know better and circumvent His order of things and have made her an idol rather than a good example to follow and esteem for her obedience and Judeo-Christian life in Christ, her son.
There is just no way to get around it, we all came from a mother. Science has not yet done away with the hosting and carrying an average fetus for nine months where a spiritual bond takes place between mother and child. Truly, Mom’s can claim “bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh”. Mother’s are without a doubt critical to the physical, mental and even spiritual development of the child while it is in their womb. This would be similar to Christians abiding in Jesus who meets all their needs.
Now, I do appreciate some may have never known their real mother or even have one that demonstrated all the care and love that Jesus does; but in no way this lack of nurturing should affect anyone’s future especially those in Christ, because just as Jesus; a born again Christian has overcome the world - Jn. 16:33. Some Mothers may not support their child's Christian Faith. This can be disheartening and there is no clear solution to it other than prayer, patience, and love. Regardless of flaws and disappointments, mothers hold a special place and should be afforded the respect and honor especially from a Christian point of view. The bible has many verses and examples that speak to this and is a commandment from God - Ex. 20:12.
4) Mary was not forsaken. Probably the best indicator of Mary’s favor in Jesus life and God’s purpose is at the cross. Jesus despite all the agony, pain, and distractions from people jeering, laughing and crying around Him while on the cross, took a moment to recognize His mother and gave last instructions for her care only to one of His closest apostle, John. Jesus loved His mother. It is also interesting that this apostle would also suffer intense persecution for the Faith and Mary, now John's mother - Jn. 19:27, would have on several occasions relate stories to him of her support and motherly love for Jesus during Jesus trials and persecution, thus strengthening and supporting John's character. Jesus would have been scorned and jeered at by his peers after taking His role since first entering the temple from age twelve up to age thirty-three and His death.
5) Mary lives for Jesus. The bible does not record her life after all the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus but it is not hard to imagine that she would be present with the apostles during their depression reminding them of Jesus and His command to spread the good news. She would have been involved to some extent during the apostle’s Pentecost and subsequent missions to the cities of Israel and the world, especially with John, who now was her adopted son as well as her other son, James; the author of the Book of James and half-brother to Jesus. As a Jewish woman and especially a mother, would support her son’s work.
Mary like all mothers played a critical role in the life of their children whether it is in the forefront or behind the scenes. This is internal DNA programming and maternal instinct. This is a part of the mother's role and even though some may interfere where they should respect, they are only doing things only a mother would do for their child. History records many sacrifices by mothers for their child even to the point of death because for a mother their child is truly; “bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh”.
Flush it Out! - Mary spoke little but did much.
3) Mary was prepared for Jesus to die. As any mother seeing the natural traits of their child, Mary would have seen Jesus mature in becoming the Messiah. Although not recorded, it is not far fetch to think discussions took place between Jesus and Joseph with Mary listening intently quietly (being a good Jewish wife) as they were having dinner. Joseph being in the working class may have expressed his views on the Roman occupation of the time. These conversations would impress on the young mind of Jesus calling for someone, a Savior to fight for the people. Mary may have seen and heard Jesus words and action align with God’s Word for a purpose. It is no different with any known hero (freedom fighter) from history. Their parents would see their child face grow and mature to face danger and even death. For Mary, when Jesus became a man, her motherly role would decrease and His increase.
The bible speaks very little about the mother of Jesus other than she was a virgin and was willing to be ridiculed, endure shame for the purposes of God saying, "I am the Lord's servant" - Lk. 1:38. Mary has had her share of controversy among the Faithful and the church and in some places and religions, she is given more attention than the Son of God. This ought not to be as Jesus is God revealed and no one or thing should be given equal billing or for that matter, more attention and reverence. She was and will always be only the mother of Jesus with every righteousness afforded to everyone else as a daughter of God and His Kingdom. She will have honor in Heaven as she did on earth, just like other men and women used by God for His will - Rm. 2:11, "no respector with God".
Mary would have more time than Joseph to influence Jesus’ outlook. We must glean into Jesus life at this early age to see just how much God trusted and expected Mary to do what He expected her to do. Mary was not programmed or influenced as today’s mothers are by media and jibberish from every woman magazine available. She only had tradition but more so the Spirit of God to guide her, regardless of any well-meaning influences around her. Mary asserted herself as the mother of Jesus and He in turned showed respect.
This we see with the wedding at Cana - Jn. 2:11. Mary stated to be Jesus, "there is no wine" and Jesus retorts "how is this my business" and eventually does what she wants by turning water into wine. This shows the relationship between a mother and her son. Just like any son, we are obliged to our mother needs. This also shows that Mary not only knew but practiced knowledge of Jesus divinity, or how else would she knew Jesus could help with the lack of wine. He was only a carpenter's son. Mary knew her son not only as a mother but also as a daughter of God.
Mary was a pleasant girl in her teens when God’s call came to her to be the mother and bearer of God’s seed (Spirit) in her womb. God knew what this would do to her among her people, parents, and future relationships, but this was His way and He gave her lots of Grace to deal with this time. Even though she was not mentioned by name (hidden from the devil), the Old testament reveals to us that the Messiah would be born of a virgin woman - Isaiah 7:14, and enter the world as a man. This is important as anyone of the Jewish faith would be expecting this to manifest for their salvation from their oppressors and also because of their traditions and laws more than likely expected it to occur within a sanctioned marriage. So we can see or infer why many would have doubted Mary’s claim and how God's grace worked in her life.
Mary was chosen not because she was a good Jewish girl but because she demonstrated the qualities that God looks for in all of us. The qualities of humility, spiritual purity and willingness to be used. This is how she earned favor from God - Lk. 1:28. For Mary, her focus was on preparing to get married. This would have opened up her thoughts to a future under Jewish tradition of marriage, including obedience to her husband. She would be disciplined by others of the same tradition including having and raising children as Jews for “a people separated unto God”. Her responsibilities would be to care as a woman and mother with love and duty supporting her husband in everything that the law required. She knew her place.
Today, Mary is revered by many of the catholic religion with time, lessons and prayer dedicated to her and has been given status equal or even more than Jesus. She is in most religious traditions and celebrations, even to the point of recognition in miracles and visions by the church. On the other hand, some religions treat her with little or no respect and no recognition. This was not a duty but a love of God and her child. God would not have used her if her heart was not right. Mary is the mother of Jesus. She carried Him for nine months and nurtured Him in His formative years. This is critical to understand and appreciate. Just like the mother of our birth, our imprint on life, the world, and things would be biased from our mother. Jesus had it no different until He reached the age of about twelve (according to the bible) when the Holy Spirit became His instructor and Jewish tradition begins to recognize Him as a person or adult and He is now responsible for His thoughts and actions, saying "I am to be about my Father's business" - Lk. 2:49.
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