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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mary, Part 4: The Shame and the Honor

Mary was probably ostracized from “polite company,” because people thought she had conceived Jesus out of wedlock with Joseph. Reading between the lines, it seems like people called her Son “illegitimate.” Luke 3:20 indicates that people assumed Jesus was the son of Joseph—logical, but not true.

Is it possible that there was no room at the inn, because the innkeeper found out she and Joseph were not yet married? (Just a thought.)

I think it’s fair to say that Mary probably suffered from this misunderstanding all of her life. But, God made sure she knew Who Jesus was. He confirmed it to her time and time again. (See my first Mary blog.)

Yet, in spite of people’s ugly thoughts, Mary was blessed. The angel Gabriel called her highly favored and blessed. Elisabeth called her blessed among women and said, blessed is she that believed. Mary herself, under the inspiration of the Lord, said, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. She knew her Baby was the Messiah.

Jesus honored His mother. He obeyed her. He accompanied her places. His first miracle was performed while they were together at a wedding. Jesus took care of her while He was on the earth and then arranged for John to take over after He was gone.

Mary was a disciple of the Lord. She listened to Him, heard Him teach and preach. She waited for the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. She was His follower all her life. No wonder God chose Mary to be His mother!

Mary deserves our respect just as all godly people deserve our respect.

She does not merit our worship.

Mary was a sinful human being just like anyone else. She needed a Savior. Mary understood as soon as her Baby was announced, that Jesus would be her Savior. She understood who she was, God’s willing servant.

I am thankful for Mary’s sweet spirit and for the way she surrendered her personal rights and reputation to be used of God. I would like to think I would have responded in the same way, Behold the handmaid of the Lord (from Luke 1:38).

How will we respond when God asks us to do something different, something out of the ordinary, something He chooses that might be out of our comfort zone, something that might mark us for life?

Let’s be like Mary!

We, too, will be blessed!

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