Monday, December 2, 2013
CHRISTMAS ~ MUSINGS OF MARY
God chose Mary to be the mother of His Son, the Lord Jesus. Doesn’t that boggle your mind?
When did God choose Mary to be the mother of the Lord Jesus? Revelation 13:8b tells us that the “Lamb (Jesus) [was] slain before the foundation of the world.” Mary must have been chosen way back then. Mary was the “virgin” of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa 7:14) which was written hundreds of years before Christ was born. God prepared and committed this most delicate task to Mary. Mary was in the mind of God before the world was created. You and I were in God’s mind that far back also (Eph.1:4). Unfathomable but wonderful!
Why did God choose Mary? Again God’s prophecy gives us the answer. Both Mary and Joseph, her legal protector, were descendants of David (Luke 1:20,36). This fulfilled the prophetic requirement. Mary was a Jewish princess, but the royal line was not ruling at that time so she considered herself of “lowly manner” (Luke: 1:48).
God endowed Mary with the beauty of humility. She was the absolute one for such an honor as were Ruth, Sarah, and others. Doesn't that encourage us as we note how God has chosen faulty material to accomplish great things? It is all of God’s grace; not our worthiness.
As we look at Luke 1:38 we see another endowment of Mary which prepared her to be a worthy vessel of the Lord’s choosing. Mary was submissive. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word”. What must have crossed her mind as she uttered her words of surrender, “according to [your] word?” Realize the embarrassment of her position. Think of her stigma of unwed motherhood. How could she explain this to Joseph? Certainly he would realize that the child to be born was not his. She would be accused of adultery by everyone. Adultery was an offense punishable by stoning (Deut. 22:13-21). Yet she graciously submitted to God’s will.
As we turn to the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), we are impressed that Mary’s heart and mind were saturated with the Word of God as she quoted from the Old Testament. If she had not been familiar with O.T. scripture would she have realized that she was part of God’s plan to send the Messiah? Her knowledge of God’s Word led her to give up her plans and follow God. Are we so prepared?
From the human standpoint let us consider what Jesus’ birth cost Mary. Nagging thoughts must have put question marks in her mind. Will Joseph believe my story? Or will he allow my stoning? What will the townspeople think? Then there was the trip to Bethlehem which must have made her cringe. At birthing time there was no privacy: only hard ground, unpleasant smells, no medical help, no friends, and an unsanitary environment. But there were compensations. An angel chorus announced the event and shepherds came to worship the Jesus.
“Christmas was a costly affair to God.” We are the beneficiaries. “He (Jesus) came to pay a debt He didn’t owe, because we owed a debt we couldn't pay.” His Christmas gift to us. Let us rejoice and thank the Giver of such a costly gift.