So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
I recently watched the movie The Passion of The Christ again, and I found myself moved by so many aspects of what the Lord did for us when He gave His life so we could receive the gift of salvation. I was also touched by the portrayal of Mary, Jesus’ mother, who had to witness the brutal abuse and then crucifixion of her beautiful firstborn son.
From the time of His conception, Mary was fully aware of Jesus’ Deity. After the angel Gabriel told her about God’s special plan for her as the mother of Jesus, she burst into song:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
Her recognition of the uniqueness of the baby Jesus continued after His birth and the arrival of the shepherds, who explained the divine message they had received from an angel and the “heavenly host.” This was their long-awaited Messiah, the Lord who would save them! She’d received another glimpse of the plan God had for this special child, the One who she had been called to care for and raise to adulthood.
I can only imagine the years of joy Mary must have had with Jesus. When did she first notice His unique relationship to His Heavenly Father? How did she play with Him, pray with Him, and teach Him knowing that her boy was fully human but also fully God? And what other insights into Jesus’ position, power, and ultimate purpose here on Earth did she receive along life’s journey?
There were times when Mary didn’t always comprehend all that her child was called to accomplish. When he was twelve, Jesus couldn’t be found in the group of family and friends returning from Passover in Jerusalem. So Mary and Joseph returned, searching for their young son for three days. When they found Him and asked Jesus how He could have caused them so much worry, He replied:
Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
It seems as if, little by little, Mary was learning too. She tucked away these Truths about her Son and Savior until that day when she had to watch this blessed gift God had shared with her offer His life so everyone could have the opportunity of being saved from their sins. Yet even in His pain, we see how much the Lord loved and treasured His mother too:
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” John 19:24-26
In the midst of His agony, Jesus asked John to care for His mother once He was gone. He provided a source of earthly protection and provision for her, and, in doing so, expressed His deep appreciation and affection for her. Oh how she must have treasured these final words spoken in her behalf in the days, weeks, and months to come!
There’s no better time than this month that commemorates mothers to consider what kind of things we are treasuring up in our hearts too. Sure, we’ve got a lot on our plates these days: high taxes, evil people, split families, government problems, and worldwide calamities. Yet has much really changed since the days of Jesus? I don’t know about you, but I want to be much more like Mary – treasuring those things in my heart that really matter for eternity.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms – and may the Lord bless you in ways that you’ll always treasure!
Thought of the Month
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.