So here we are, our final blog in our ‘Women of the Bible’ series.
We have spent time looking at some incredible women who are not only an inspiration to us all but have also challenged our hearts as we consider how we are ‘Women of God’ as well.
We have looked at Esther, Bathsheba, Tamar, Sarah and Ruth and the reason why these women were chosen for this series was because they all played a vital role in history, all the way through the lineage of Jesus.
Today is Good Friday, the day that we take time to remember the darkest day in history when Jesus submitted to His father’s will and fulfilled His purpose for each one of us in bearing the weight of our sin on the cross. We have a very special Easter blog and podcast that will be out on Sunday, so don’t miss that.
But we finish this series today, with not only the most well-known woman of the Bible, but the most important woman of the Bible.
Today we are going to look at Mary. There are three points in her narrative, spread out across the gospels, that always challenges and inspires me as I think about her.
- Mary was chosen by God to carry His son and bring him into this world – Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and because they were not yet married, being pregnant out of wedlock would have brought such scandal and shame on both their families. Mary and Joseph would have been very aware of this. But God’s angels delivered messages of instruction to both Mary and Joseph. They both trusted and obeyed God. Mary would have only been a teenager when the angel Gabriel met with her to give her the news that would change, not only her and Joseph’s lives, but the entire world! Her response is incredible, Luke 1:38, “Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.” She shows not only a staggering amount of courage, given how it would look to people, but her obedience and trust in God’s calling for her with this massive responsibility is very humbling.
- How she cares for Jesus as a mother – Towards the end of Luke, chapter two, we read about how Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem every year for a few days to celebrate the Passover festival. On one occasion, we read about how Jesus, at the age of 12, went missing from his parents as he stayed behind in Jerusalem to speak with and ask the religious leader in the Temple questions. When Mary and Joseph got back to Jerusalem and found Him, this is what happened Luke 2:48-51,
“His parents didn’t know what to think, “Son,” his mother said to him, “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” “But why did you need to search?”, he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.”
Like any good, loving and caring parent, Mary and Joseph were beside themselves with worry when they couldn’t find Him. Jesus was their child, and while he was young and growing up, I love to think about how, in the example we have here, they didn’t treat him any differently from any other child. For me, when I think about Mary, as his mother who, ‘stored all these things in her heart’, it tells me that she is constantly reminded of who Jesus is, as the son of God.
- The suffering she would have gone through watching her son die – Mary would have had a bond with Jesus, as His mother, like no one else. And on this very day, years and years ago, I can’t even imagine the suffering, heartache and confusion she would have been feeling while standing at the cross seeing her Jesus beaten, broken, mocked and killed. John 19:25-27 says this, “Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved, He said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on, this disciple took her into his home.”
This Good Friday, we will all be thinking about the sacrifice Jesus made for us all. I would encourage you to take a look through the gospels this weekend. Think about Marys experience of this journey from being given this overwhelming responsibility, to being a mother who loved and cared for her son, to standing at the foot of the cross and witnessing the full purpose of her son’s life for each one of us! Allow God to challenge and encourage your heart – on the plans He has for your life and the purposes He has for you as an amazing Woman of God!