She was just a simple girl – nothing special – not without sin. She was like us, yet God chose her to carry His very own Son for nine months in her womb. She would also hold His dead body thirty three years later after He was crucified. This little child would be born in unusual circumstances so that He could become one of us.
Her mind must have been going in all directions. What would she tell her betrothed husband? How would she explain this to her friends and others in the community? Certainly it defied all human thinking. How could a young woman conceive a child without ever being with a man?
She knew she must tell Joseph. His reaction was as she thought it would be. He assumed she had been unfaithful and was ready to call the whole thing off. It was a perfectly natural response. Her heart was broken to the core to think her future husband would believe she’d betrayed him. Shortly thereafter, Joseph was visited by an angel in a dream. He was told that Mary’s wasn’t conceived by a man, but by the Holy Spirit of God. He would be the Son of God and save the world from their sins.
Joseph was an honorable man. He trusted God. His faith allowed him to accept this news and go on with their original plans to marry. Both Mary and Joseph were now the talk of the town. Imagine their humiliation – their shame. They were both on display now.
Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth during this time. Elizabeth was also pregnant. Her son would become the forerunner of Christ – the voice crying in the wilderness – John, the Baptist. He would prepare the people for the coming Messiah by leading them to repentance and baptism. When Mary appeared at Elizabeth’s home, her child jumped within her. She knew immediately that Mary was carrying the Son of God.
When it was time for Mary to give birth, it was necessary for her and Joseph to return to the town of their lineage – Bethlehem – to be counted in the census demanded by the governor. They traveled over rough terrain almost a hundred miles to their destination. Mary sat upon a donkey, and her pregnant body was subject to bumps, twists and turns. God protected this little family through every inch of the way.
Mary undoubtedly noticed every detail about her baby boy. She probably counted His fingers and toes, as most moms do. She would check Him often to make sure He was breathing. This tiny child seemed so helpless, yet was all powerful. He cried when He was hungry, had to have His diapers changed, needed the presence of His mother to soothe his hurts and cuddle Him close to her breast.
As her boy grew, she watched Him at play – warned Him of danger – made sure He ate right and taught Him, She certainly would guide and teach Him in His early years. Later He would be the teacher and she the student.
Mary accepted God’s plan for her life completely by faith. None of this made sense to her from a human standpoint. She knew that God was placing this honor on her, yet she accepted it in complete humility.
Most moms look at their children with loving eyes. We pray that they will succeed – they won’t have to experience bullying, emotional scars as well as bumps and bruises – they will have it easier than we did. We want the very best for them. Mary knew that Jesus had come to save the world, but pondering all of these early years in her young life could not have prepared her for what was in store. Still she walked in faith and trusted in God’s promise.