READING: Matthew 1: 18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (Joshua), because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Mary the mother of Jesus was a young woman who looked ordinary but was very special inside… because GOD LOOKS ON THE HEART and not on outward appearance
Think about the news she was given… that she would bear the Son of God who was coming to earth as a man!
ARE YOU AND I LISTENING TO GOD as Mary did? What is He saying to you?
Mary thought that it was more important to do what God wanted than anything else in the world… even though it was hard beyond belief
Remember that as an unmarried woman, she could have been punished, perhaps even STONED TO DEATH… but she chose the narrow way that leads to true life that is only found through obedience to God
As it became obvious that Mary was going to have a baby, some people would have been unpleasant to her… even members of her family might have disowned her
- Little wonder that she went to stay with Elizabeth!
Then what we now call “The Christmas Story”… and all the hardship… surprises… amazement…
- The confusion of the past was replaced by unspeakable joy
What name would you have given the baby?
Mary called him JESUS because Jesus means “the one who saves” or “saviour”… Every child is special… but Jesus was uniquely special!
It is clear from the Bible that Mary later had other children…but it seems that Joseph died prematurely … SO MARY BECAME A SINGLE PARENT…and Jesus the child of a single parent
This sobering fact is a reminder that we should be careful not to be too quick to condemn people when we don’t know the full circumstances… and when we do more of their ‘story’, to show compassion
As Jesus grew up, incredible things happened… Miracles; words that had such impact that clever men were left speechless; love and concern for individuals that put others to shame
And when Jesus died upon the Cross, his mother, Mary, was there… still faithful at a time of grief and testing
THAT’S THE GREAT THING ABOUT MOTHERS… They are always “there” for their children… Just as God is always there for us, as His precious children, in all the ups and downs of life
And what JOY when Jesus came back to life! Imagine how Mary felt then!
So what was Mary’s secret? We find out in Luke 1 v 38
“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be unto me as you have said.”
Mary wasn’t special solely because she was the woman who bore Jesus (which was a tremendous privilege and responsibility) … but because she was someone who put God first in her life.
WE CAN ALL DO THE SAME…not just this Christmas…but for the rest of our lives as we see Him for who He really is:
JESUS CHRIST … SAVIOUR, who is the real heart of CHRISTmas!