I often wonder about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I wonder what she was like, how she looked. I wonder what went through her mind. We know she was chosen by God to give birth to His son – Jesus – and that she accepted the calling with humble obedience. She raised him and spent years of her life pouring into his. Then, when the time came, she watched him die on the cross.
She fascinates me.
I wonder how she reacted when the angel appeared to her. Was she scared? Amazed? Excited? I wonder if she cried silent tears as she told Joseph of her pregnancy, afraid of what he would do. Her culture and religious traditions required that she be stoned to death for what appeared to be an illegitimate pregnancy. How did her faith play out the ending of this story in her mind?
Imagine what it was like to know you were pregnant with the Messiah yet being scorned every time you walked by because no one believed you. Did she wrap her shawl around herself to protect herself from their stares? After Jesus was born, did she hold his little hand and draw him in close to her skirts in an attempt to protect him too?
As Jesus grew and did no wrong, I wonder if Mary felt overwhelmed and inadequate. How exactly do you teach the perfect child? Maybe she didn’t. Maybe she just learned. I don’t know, but as a mom myself, I empathize with the desire she must have felt to love him as a mom while honoring him as her God.
Mary saw some people embrace Jesus. She saw others reject him. She knew that on multiple occasions he narrowly escaped being thrown out of the temple and stoned. No doubt Mary was in tune with all the events transpiring in Jesus’ life, feeling his hurts and sharing his joys. Because that’s what moms do.
Then there are the parts of Mary’s story that I absolutely cannot imagine. I cannot imagine watching my child be tortured. Or following as he was forced to carry the cross. And the agony of seeing him struggle to push against the nails, driven deeply into his hands and feet, just to draw a breath. It must have made it nearly impossible for her to catch her own.
There is much I wish I knew about Mary. When the angel first appeared to her, did she know the sorrow that would overshadow her life? Did she understand that this perfect God-child was born only to be a sacrifice? Or did she think that as an adult he would sit on the earthly throne of Israel, taking the place of Herod?
Because Mary was chosen by God there are a few things that I can assume. I believe she had a pure heart and a desire to honor God. I believe she was kind and humble, and that she possessed wisdom and discernment. Also, I know that as Jesus’ life unfolded, Mary pondered all that was and was to be in her heart (Luke 2:19, 51).
Maybe it is because of these things that Mary, whose life was marked by sorrow, was able to experience God’s peace. I believe it is because Mary sought after God and opened her heart to Him that she received the happiness of heaven. Not because of anything she did, but because she knew exactly who God is and who Jesus was.
You see, real peace, the peace that comes from God, is knowing that this life is not the end; that Jesus’ sacrificial death has opened the door to heaven and you are being called to enter in; that someday Jesus will come back to restore everything to perfection.
Peace is knowing the happiness of heaven. It is Jesus. And you can know Him too.
Thrive in Five – One set of Bible verses, 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Let’s dive into God’s Word.
But Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
Luke 2:19 NLT
Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.