As Christmas Day gets closer this year, I have contemplated the words to this song, “Mary Did You Know” as it has played over and over in my mind the last few days. (Click on the song title to listen)
Most know the Christmas story, but I am seeing it from a different viewpoint this year….Mary’ perspective.
Luke 1:26-36 NASU
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
Even though the angel came to explain what was to happen, can you imagine walking in Mary’s shoes and trying to make any sense of this unusual destiny that she was to fulfill? Thankfully, confirmation came in two ways. First the angel also explained what was to happen to Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25), and secondly, the Holy Spirit revealed it to her relative Elizabeth (Luke 1:36-45).
Even with two witnesses I cannot begin to imagine the difficult path that Mary was commissioned to walk. Understanding this unusual conception was only the beginning.
When it was time for delivery, Mary was again in a remarkable predicament. While traveling to register for the census, the time came to give birth. There was no room in the inn so she was forced to deliver baby Jesus in a stable and lay him in a manger. After an angel alerted shepherds about the birth, they came to worship and shared the story with Mary (Luke 2:8-18). I love this next verse:
But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Luke 2:19-20 NASU
The next challenge Mary was faced with was the need to go into hiding because Herod wanted this child destroyed (Matthew 2:13-23). Mary wasn’t able to return to her home because her life was now dictated by the destiny of the child she bore.
When Jesus was twelve His family traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. His parents realized He was not in the group on the way home. After three days, they located him in the temple astonishing the teachers and scholars with His wisdom and understanding (Luke 2:41-51). Again, we read a similar passage:
And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
Luke 2:51 NASU
Mary was the one who encouraged Jesus to perform His first miracle (John 2:1-11). She must have been so proud as she observed Him heal the sick, multiply food for thousands, and raise the dead. She must have felt such concern when He was rejected, ridiculed, and falsely accused. Eventually she finds herself at the foot of the cross (John 19:25-27). Mary did you know your son Jesus was born to die?
Can you even imagine a mother’s heart breaking in this moment? This innocent Son suffered unbelievable agony and died for all humanity, so we might have eternal life. Jesus was resurrected three days later, but not long after He ascended into heaven. Jesus fulfilled the mandate He was given on this earth, yet I am sure Mary missed her Son.
She pondered many things in her heart during His lifetime….now I expect her heart felt the pain of loss. Mary was an amazing woman. She walked a difficult path, but one that benefited us all. She went where none had gone before. Where would we be if she had refused?
During the Christmas season, we celebrate the glory of God that came to us first through a baby and now exists among us in the form of the Holy Spirit. This glory enables us to walk the path that God created for each of us to travel.
At times, our human strength is gone and our willingness to persevere the challenges life brings wears thin. However, just as Mary had a destiny to fulfill, so do we. My Christmas blessing to you is that you will receive encouragement today to complete all of your assignments and that the Glory of the Lord will shine through you.
This morning during a time of prayer, I heard a powerful Word from the Lord and I have shared it with you below. I pray it will encourage you to do as Mary did and go where others have not gone before. Merry Christmas!
“I have said it before, and I will say it again – CONTEND! Contend for My glory, contend for My presence, says the Lord.
It is in My presence that you will find your strength for the fight. It is in My glory that you are equipped for the night.
My power is in sight. It is available to help you overcome the plots to destroy your might.
Look up! Look out! The destination is still in front and not behind. Push out of the places where you are stuck in the mud.
No more excuses. No more delays. My power and anointing is available TODAY!
Go where others have not gone before. I will be with you says the Lord!”