Sometimes we have heard the Christmas story so often it has lost its impact on us. The Christmas season can have us so busy and tired that we don’t have time to think deeply about the things Mary thought about. I picture Mary looking at sweet little Jesus as she holds Him in her arms and thinking to herself this is God in the flesh. She’s just a young girl, and she has just given birth to the Messiah – the Savior of the world.
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The Christmas season can be a time – a reminder to us to refocus - to again think deeply about the realities of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
I think sometimes in our Christian walk when we first meet the Lord, when He saves us, we are in awe and as times goes on in our walk we can sometimes just get lost in the busyness and mundaneness of life and really not take the time to meditate on God’s Word and the realities of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
The Christmas season can be a time – a reminder to us to refocus – to again think deeply about the realities of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. God’s Word is alive – it’s true – I want to continually know and grow more in my love and knowledge of who the Lord is and truly ponder deeply on those things, so they take root and bring about change in my walk with Him. That they grow me more in my love for Him and through that in my love for others – starting within the four walls of my own home.
Every Christmas season I look forward to reading the account of the birth of Christ in Luke together as a family on Christmas morning. I'm amazed at Mary's faith. What must have gone through her mind when Gabriel approached her? How did she process the news that she and Joseph were to raise the Son of God? What depths of sorrow did she endure while watching her Son die a horrific death on a cross? There are many lessons we can learn from Mary’s life, but I want to share just ten today.
1. Mary knew God's Word. (Luke 1:54-55)
2. Mary was filled with the Spirit. (Luke 1:35)
3. Mary said “yes” to God's plan for her life. (Luke 1:38)
4. Mary was quiet before the Lord and meditated on all He had done in her life. (Luke 2:19, Luke 2:51)
5. Mary turned to Jesus for help when she had a problem to be solved. (John 2:3-5)
6. Mary was a woman of worship. (Luke 1:46-47)
7. Mary trusted in the Lord and waited on the His timing. (Matthew 1:19-20)
8. Mary was a chosen vessel of the Lord. (Luke 1:30-31)
9. Mary was a faithful servant. (John 19:25)
10. Mary knew Jesus was dying on the cross for her sins. (Luke 2:34-35)
Mary sees clearly a most remarkable thing about God: He is about to change the course of all human history; the most important three decades in all of time are about to begin. And where is God? Occupying himself with two obscure, humble women — one old and barren (Elizabeth), one young and a virgin (Mary). And Mary is so moved by this vision of God, the lover of the lowly, that she breaks out in song — a song that has come to be known as “The Magnificat.” Mary and Elizabeth are wonderful heroines in Luke’s account. He loves the faith of these women. The thing that impresses him most, it appears, and the thing he wants to impress on Theophilus, his noble reader of his Gospel, is the lowliness and cheerful humility of Elizabeth and Mary as they submit to their magnificent God. Elizabeth says (Luke 1:43), “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” And Mary says (Luke 1:48), “He has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” The only people whose soul can truly magnify the Lord are people like Elizabeth and Mary — people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God. ~ John Piper
Henry Morris says “We cannot comprehend the mechanics of such a miracle; we can only believe God's Word.” We must be honest that is verse is what I would call “holy ground,” so we need to take off our shoes and marvel at the mystery and majesty in this description. Even as a physician I would dare not try to explain scientifically this supernatural working of God lest we lose the sense of wonder at such a miraculous work of God. As Robertson says “The wonder of Mary would increase at these words. The Miraculous Conception or Virgin Birth of Jesus is thus plainly set forth in Luke as in Matthew. The fact that Luke was a physician gives added interest to his report.”
John MacArthur in his study bible shares on this verse: – Mary was in an extremely embarrassing and difficult position. Betrothed to Joseph, she faced the stigma of unwed motherhood. Joseph would obviously have known that the child was not his. She knew she would be accused of adultery—an offense punishable by stoning (Dt 22:13–21; cf. Jn 8:3–5). Yet she willingly and graciously submitted to the will of God.
Spurgeon on pondering them in her heart – (Mary) Weighed them, estimated them at their right value. Mary laid these things up in store, and pondered them, giving them their due weight and value. Oh, that we did the same with every truth that we learn! The best of coffers to lay up anything in is the heart. Happy are those who, like Mary, store up the things of Christ, not in their brain though that would make them orthodox; but in their heart, for that will bring them salvation.
Scripture & Resources:
Mary of Nazareth @Revive Our Hearts
Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur
My Soul Magnifies the Lord: Meditations on the Meaning of Christmas by Martyn Lloyd-Jones