A mother like Mary

Published 8:40 am Friday, May 12, 2017

By Pastor Brandon Young

I would like to begin this Solution Column with a Happy Mother’s Day! Mothers are special individuals for sure, and we want to celebrate all their hard work and sacrifice. So a big thanks to all the moms that work diligently each day providing for their families! As I thought about Mother’s Day, I cannot get one mother in particular off my mind, Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is a perfect example of a Godly mother who feared the Lord and obeyed his commands, and even we men can learn a thing to two from this holy lady. Let’s take some time to look at her life for a moment, and hopefully apply Mary’s attributes to our everyday lives.

Mary was a selfless individual. She denied her wants, desires, and wishes to accept her calling from the Lord. Here’s a passage we frequently read at Christmas from Luke 1:26-38, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
We see Mary was highly favored by the Lord, and honestly, anyone highly favored by the Lord should be studied thoroughly by Christians in order to emulate those actions. After the angel described what the Lord was asking her to do, she responded with, “I’ll do whatever you, Lord, want me, your servant, to do!” She was always about carrying out the will of the Father. The number one concern in a child of God’s life must be to carry of the will of the Father. Mary was completely submissive to God. She counted the cost. So far as she knew: she would lose Joseph; she would be a social outcast; she had no idea how she would raise the Child. Yet she said without hesitation, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Mary was a woman of faith. Part of Elizabeth’s prophetic response to Mary’s greeting was “blessed is she who has believed” (Luke 1:45). Mary was humble. She spoke of her “humble state” (Luke 1:48). She realized that she was a girl from Nazareth with no social status. Mary was spiritual. She was a devout worshipper of God! Mary was thoughtful. She kept the words of the shepherds and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). Twelve years later in Jerusalem Jesus made a pointed statement about His true Father that Mary kept also in her heart (Luke 2:51).
She realized that the plan that God had for His Son was more important that her own relationship with Jesus as her son. Look at this passage from Matthew 12:46-50, “While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” In this passage, we see Mary and the brothers of Jesus waiting patiently to speak with him as he ministers to those individuals around him. Then Christ ask who his mother and brothers as they are standing close enough to hear him. He then answers his own question by stretching out his hand to point to those he is speaking with, and saying that those who do the will of His Father is the same as his brother, sister, and mother. Therefore, we know that those who carry out the will of the Heavenly Father is the immediate family of Jesus Christ. We do not see Mary get angered or even jealous over this statement because she understood the magnitude of what Jesus was sent to do exceeded her personal wants, desires, and needs. We need more individuals concerned with doing the will of God than carrying out their own plans in life. It is not about what we want, but it is all about what he wants.
At the wedding in Cana (John 2) Jesus called her “Woman.” This was not in disrespect, but was like addressing her as “Lady.” Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). That is Mary’s only commandment. On the cross Jesus again addressed His mother as “Woman.” “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to John, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27). At this point Jesus severed all parental ties with His mother and transferred them to John. During Jesus’ ministry Mary began losing Him. Now she had to let go. He who had been her son now belongs only to His Father. Mary had Jesus during the years of His childhood and early adulthood, and she made the most of them. What a special mother she was! This reminds us of the solemn and priceless opportunity we parents have during the early formative years of our children. The last time we read of Mary in the Bible, she obeyed the command of Jesus and was in the upper room, waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). Can you imagine how she felt, when the Spirit of her Son descended upon her, and she felt close to him once more? She had yearned and longed to feel his touch again, and the Holy Ghost made that experience possible!
We have complete access to Jesus because of the indwelling Holy Spirit! In fact, unlike Mary and his brothers, we can go to him anytime we need him, and he’s always there to listen and assist. We are so blessed! Mary was placed on the back burner because the will of the Father was for His Son to seek and save ALL that was lost. She lived in self-sacrifice and self-denial, and the Lord asks each of us to do the same! I desire to carry out the will of the Heavenly Father that I may be the immediate family of Jesus, and in doing so, I must forsake my wants and desires for His! If we desire to be better parents, let us obey God in all areas of our lives. Let’s end with the definition of the word self-less: having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself. This is what it means to be a mother like Mary!
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox