Mary was a young woman when she was visited by an angel with news that would change her life – she was going to be the mother of God’s Son. Mary wondered how it would happen, seeing as she did not have a husband and there was no possible way for her to have a baby by herself.
It was going to be a miracle – a work of God to put the baby Jesus in her.
The angel also told Mary of the pregnancy of her older cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth and her husband were old and hadn’t been able to have any children, and this news assured Mary that nothing was impossible with God.
Mary traveled to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was pregnant with a boy that would grow up to be John the Baptist, the one who prepared the way for the Lord Jesus.
When Elizabeth saw Mary, John leaped inside her. Elizabeth greeted Mary and Mary sang a beautiful song, the Magnificat. In her song Mary praised God for what He had done, and for His mercies throughout all the generations – these very generations we have been reading about each day and where we have seen God working.
She praised God for His faithfulness in keeping the promise He had made to Abraham all of those many, many years ago. And she spoke of God as her Savior, recognizing her own need for forgiveness of sin.
After some time Mary traveled back to Joseph, where he was told by the angel that her pregnancy was from God and that she was carrying the Son of God. Together they travel to Bethlehem for the census, and for the birth of the Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus was born in a stable, as there was no room for the little family anywhere else. The first visitors were shepherds, who had been told of the birth by the angels. Mary watched as these shepherds worshiped this new born baby and she held it dear in her heart.
Forty days after the birth Mary was required to have a purification ceremony, a law set out for the Jewish people. Ordinarily a lamb was required as an offering at this ceremony but allowances were made for those who could not afford a lamb. Mary’s offering was two young pigeon doves.
The family God chose for His Son to be born into were not wealthy, but they were obedient.
Mary and Joseph had Jesus dedicated at the temple, as all first born sons were. There was an old man at the temple named Simeon who had waited his whole life to see the Lord Jesus. Simeon was one of the godly Jews that was looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, and God had promised him that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.
Simeon held the baby in his arms – this was the One he had waited for. This was the One who would save the people. Simeon blessed Mary and Joseph and then spoke directly to Mary; “Yes, a sword will pierce your own side.” A strange thing to say to a new mother, but it was a prophecy, speaking of something that was to come, and we will see where this comes out later in Mary’s story.
Mary observed the ways of Jesus as He grew and pondered these things in her heart. How full her heart must have been!
Mary went with Jesus to a wedding, the wedding where He performed His first miracle. The wine ran out and Mary brought the problem to Jesus. He gently reminded her that His divine mission was to His Heavenly Father, but He does His first recorded miracle; He turned water into wine.
Here, and in other places, Mary is referred to as “the mother of Jesus.” He was not known as being the son of the virgin woman, but rather she was known as being the mother of the Lord Jesus – the preeminent, or most important, place is given to Christ.
Later, we see Mary at the cross of Jesus where He had been crucified. A fulfillment to Simeon’s words that she would have a sword pierce her side – a sword of agony and pain in watching her Son die a brutal, undeserved death in order to redeem her and all else who would accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
Mary observed so many intimate details about her Son, the Savior of the world. The last recorded words of hers are worth considering today. Back at that wedding ceremony where Jesus turned the water into wine Mary spoke to the servants and said;
“Do whatever He tells you.”
These words from the heart of the one who brought Him into the world and pondered in her heart the worship of Christ Jesus and the ways that He lived are words worth challenging ourselves with today – do we do whatever He tells us?