What Can We Learn From Mary, Jesus' Mom?

The Gospel of Matthew and Luke teach us many things about the Savior’s mom.  Mary’s life is worthy for us to look at this Christmas season.  What can we learn from her?

First, God found favor in Mary, not because Mary was perfect and sinless, but because God’s grace was on her.  We might assume that she was close to God in her fellowship, but this was not the reason for her finding favor.  Verse 28 says, 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Although Mary played a special role in the redemptive plan of God, if you know God, you are highly favored too and you can have the same kind of relationship and fellowship with God that Mary must have had.  Ephesians 1:6 uses the same word here for “favored” when it says that “his glorious grace…which he has freely given.”  Mary was a recipient of the same grace that you have received!  That is why you are highly favored.  Because of God’s great grace! 

Second, Mary had a great deal of humility in her.  Verse 29 says, 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. Okay, seeing an angel is not an everyday occurrence, but Mary’s response was generated our of Holy Fear and Humility.  We should have this kind of Fear for the Lord and Humility in our own lives.

Third, Mary is teachable.  In verse 34, Mary responses to this miraculous news by saying, 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” It is what Mary does not say that I find remarkable.  She does not say, “You have got to be kidding me.  That is not going to happen!”  She just asks a question in a posture of learning.  We too should be teachable, ready to learn even when it seems impossible.

Fourth, Mary was the Lord’s Servant.  Mary responses to all of this with an absolutely crazy response in verse 38.  It says, 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”  Mary had an immediate response of obedience.  She had and exemplary attitude of servanthood in the face of a crazy word from an Angel!  She knew that she would get looks, loose friends, get ridicule, and receive persecution.  She was about to be pregnant as a Virgin!  She is not married yet!  She knew this would be very difficult and the community would shame her, BUT despite this, she said, “I am the Lord’s Servant!”  Q. Can you say that?  Are you quick to obey God no matter the circumstances?  Are you sticking close to his Word, not wavering from the Truth no matter what others might say or do?  Let’s be like Mary!   

Fifth, Mary’s actions of obiedence with her Lord were affirmed by Elizabeth.  Elizabeth says in verse 45, 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”  May that be true of you and me!  May others see our love and faith for the Lord and say, “That is fantastic faith!  That is inspiring!  I want that kind of faith too!”

What do you think?

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Jeff Baxter
Jeff Baxter's passion for helping the next generation know and love Jesus led him to pursue his Doctorate in Youth and Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeff has been a frequent speaker in various settings including the National Youth Workers Convention. Jeff lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife, Laurie, and their three children where he is an associate pastor at Foothills Bible Church. His most recent book is Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church (Zondervan). Jeff blogs at sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com.

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