We all know the traditional story of Christmas begins with Mary, Jesus’ mom. We know from Jewish tradition that she was young, a teenager more than likely, and engaged to be married to a respectable Jewish man, Joseph, in her town of Nazareth. She was a faithful Jewish woman, and she was a virgin. After Jesus is born, we don’t see much about her, but I think the best glimpse into this woman’s heart is found in Luke 1:46-55:
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
What is so interesting here to me is that she sings this before giving birth. She is young; she has left her home to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, and an angel has come to visit her telling her what is going to happen. If I was her, I would be freaking out! Think about your life as a teenager – can you imagine this happening to you at age 16? Yet, Mary, in her incredible faith, is humbled by this task, sees it as an honor, praising God for what He will do, and she rejoices in Him. Yet, she knows what she will return home to in a few short months. She is expected to still be a virgin when she marries Joseph, and her growing bump will make others think otherwise.
Today, first pray and ask God to be with you as you read through these verses again. Then, spend some time thinking through what you have learned about Mary in these verses. Did you learn anything new? Did He reveal anything new? Then, spend some time praising Him for how He uses us in His story.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- Read through the rest of the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke. How do you see Mary reacting? What other personality characteristics stand out?
- How might God be calling you to be more like Mary today?