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A Faith to Follow
Like a woman covered in veils with only her eyes to convey her heart, Mary is wrapped in mystery. We are left to guess so much: her appearance, her relationship with Joseph, how she mothered Jesus, her widowhood, her death. Yet the glimpses we have-- like windows to her soul-- sketch a clear image of a woman of great faith. Mary believed God-- completely.
She believed the angel Gabriel. How much did she know about the prophesied virgin birth when only the boys of her time were schooled in Scripture? For that matter, did anyone understand? Even so, Mary's answer was a simple, "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38).
Mary believed God spoke to Joseph in his dreams and gave him wisdom to care for her and her child. She followed him to Egypt in the middle of the night to escape from Herod. About two years later, she followed him home after another dream.
Mary believed that Jesus was the Messiah--even when He was on the cross. But she didn't understand any better than his disciples what the full plan of God was, so she certainly suffered grief and loss and confusion after Jesus' death.
Jesus had grown from the tiny fetus in her womb to the resurrected Lord of glory. Mother became daughter, parent became disciple, but Mary was always a believer. Hers was a simple life- daily faithfulness to menial tasks in a remote part of an obscure nation. Hers was an extraordinary life, with angels, prophecy, Magi and a sword that pierced not only her Son's body but also her own heart- a life given to conceiving, birthing and raising the only Son of God.
The tiny band of disciples that grew into a multitude respected Mary not for her position or celebrity but her faith. "From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is His name' (Luke 1:48-49).
It's hard for us to remember that Mary was a real woman. Through the years, she has been made into an almost magical figure. But she had real problems, fears and failings. God uses real people to accomplish His will. We respect Mary for her faith, but One greater than Mary said, "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Matt. 12:50). Faithful obedience, like Mary's, is the evidence that we are spiritually related to Christ, just as she was.
Candid Snapshot: This is how the birth of Jesus came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came go ether, she was found to be with child through the Hold Spirit (Matt. 1:18).
Mary: find more in:
Matthew 1-2, 12:46-50
Luke 1-2, 8:19-21
John 2:1-11, 19:25-27
copyright 2001 by Zondervan