There is a well-known song, made even more famous recently by Jordan Smith in The Voice. The song is a poignant look at Mary as the surrogate mother of Jesus. Did Mary know for instance that her Son would walk on water, raise the dead, be able to calm the storm with just a wave of His hand, give sight to the blind and bring salvation to countless people?
The fact is that Scripture recorded that Mary did know; that the archangel Gabriel had already told her of the identity of the Baby she was about to conceive and that He would be the Messiah of the world. What must have it been for Mary to know; to see Him grow and know that He is far more significant than just her baby boy and of the purposes He would accomplish? Recently, Rev Chu Ooi Lin shared a moving message about what Mary’s faith and obedience as a mother teaches the rest of us about these aspects of the Christian life.
Rev Ooi Lin is a lady that has a mother’s heart, extending a mother’s love unto a ministry that is in daily relationship with children of learning disabilities (ADD, Autism, Dyslexia, etc).She shared that the song, ‘Mary Did You Know?’, was actually written many years ago by Mark Lowry. He did not managed to bring it out at that time but especially with so many people singing this song from the depth of their hearts now, this song has become so truthful.
‘As a mother, did Mary know the plan God had for her Child? As a mother spending all those time with her Child, taking care of Him and watching Him grow up, did she know? As a mother helping your child with their homework every day, do we know that God have a plan for our sons and daughters?
‘I want to address this issue whether Mary through her life knew about this Saviour. The fact is she did know though she may not know at that time of the extent of His ministry or understand the extent of His suffering.
‘From the time she conceived she had known because God had already told her through the archangel Gabriel that this child by His name means ‘He saves’. And Mary took this on, to help this Child as He grew so that when the time had come of the role He would have to play.’
Rev Ooi Lin shared that in many ways, we tend to look at Mary as the Perfect Mother, yet most mothers would be able to recognize that the responsibility of motherhood is not an easy one. ‘Many times as mothers we feel that we cannot manage our households according to our best hopes. Sometimes we struggle. But Mary wants to let us know through her life story she struggled too. It was not easy at all.’
When it was time for Jesus to do His ministry, the rest of His siblings were against it. They did not understand at that time who He was and what He was doing. ‘I imagine what Mary would have gone through and what she would tell us. She would have told us that everyday her children were at each other. There is one incident the Bible shows us in Mark 3:31-35.’
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
‘Imagine how Mary could have felt. “Every day I take care of you but now you say ‘these are my mother and brothers?’” This is not a story; it’s a real event. And these kinds of things make the other siblings offended and strained their relationship with Jesus.
‘In Mark 6:1-5, there is another recorded event in Jesus’ life. Jesus was rejected in His own hometown. A majority of the people at that time when they were gathered to hear God’s word and Jesus brought the teaching they did not believe. And His own brothers were not interested to know more.
‘Jesus only brought to them embarrassment because the religious leaders were there and they were getting annoyed and very angry with Jesus because they thought He was blaspheming. They could not see who Jesus was; to them He was just a carpenter’s son and now He is claiming to be the Son of God.’
The fundamental thing about what was happening in Mary’s household was that her children had a central misunderstanding of who Jesus is. To them, He was just a sibling they had grown up with and now He seemed to have forsaken the family. They did not know, but Mary knew. And so through all this, through even the pain and loneliness, we can see that Mary stepped out in faith. Even though her children may not want to have followed, she was there at the very end at the cross where Jesus was crucified.
‘Mary would have felt lost in her heart because her children were against her believing and trusting that Jesus is Her Saviour. But she stepped out in faith. She did not wait. She went to Jerusalem, on her own, to witness Jesus walk to Calvary. She was one step different from you and I in that she conceived and raised Jesus but just like you and I, she was an individual. She knew it was time and like any mother as well as any individual, she would have felt pain in her heart watching…
‘At the cross, she saw: “I see my Saviour bear all my suffering. He was willing to take my sin and go on this road, take all the torture, the suffering, so that Men can receive salvation. Jesus care for everybody” and Mary did just one thing; “Jesus, I know I trust in you.” Mary trusted in God all the way. Mary had a personal commitment and that took courage; courage to say through all her life; “I believe. I trust in Him.”’
Through her life, Mary gave us an immense example. What does it take to trust in God and how much do we mean it when we say we trust in God; that He is more than enough for us? It is natural for many of us to want to be successful, to strive for things. But what would it take if God were to tell us “I have a different path for you. Trust in Me to carry you.”
Mary did not have great success. She did not have lots of riches. She was just a simple mother, wife of a carpenter and mother to her children. But Mary knew very well who she trusted. In the midst of the cares of life, we sometimes forget about God but we need to remember who we trust.
Mary from the very beginning had this trust; even before God had chosen her to bear His Son, Mary had always kept herself pure, even during a time when God had been silent for 400 years and during a time when many people had lost belief or trust in God. ‘We seem to be living in times something like this today. Can we trust God even at this time?’
Rev Ooi Lin shared that Mary set the example and she taught each one of us; “It is not easy to see your loved ones heading for trouble, when your loved ones doesn’t seem to understand, but she remembered that God is in control.” And after Jesus died, the Bible tells us Mary saw her children one by one starting to believe in the Lord and they became elders of the church!
In the same way, each one of us can do that. We have our difficult times but God is good and like Mary, if we trust in God we will see His hand. Don’t give up. Don’t continue to live as if no one can see that your faith is in God. Through all the challenges, through her aloneness, through the intense grief in her heart, Mary had the courage to trust in God and live a life that showed everyone her faith. This is Mary’s greatest lesson to every one of us.
There is a part of the song that states;
Did You Know That Your Baby Boy Is Heaven’s Perfect Plan?
Mary did know and she hung onto that perfect plan. And as her joy, she saw the ascension of Christ. God had given us His word so that we can see and know His perfect plan if we hang on in courage. But courage does not come overnight. We need to grow in our courage to stand out for the Lord. Courage to show that we love our country, that we are continuing to pray for our nation and to live our lives right so that we can be a blessing to the people around us.
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