Mary is an iconic figure, as both the mother of Jesus and a faithful disciple of Jesus. She was a woman — a human being like us — who walked with God and worked for God.
Mary exemplifies for us what it means to be in the service of God. We can see through her actions and life how exemplary she was. Consider those around you — how your view of someone determines how you approach and relate to them. That same view of someone can also lead to how you will identify with them, and your value of them. Now think of Mary again.
Mary viewed Jesus as both her Son and Saviour. How did she balance, engage, and live with Jesus as her Son and Saviour? We need to recognize two interesting facts about Mary.
First, she is a woman of God — whom God used to conceive a supernatural and spiritual Son who will be the Saviour of the world (including Mary herself).
Secondly, she is also a wife to Joseph — who conceived a child while a virgin, without a man betrothed to Joseph. In her role and responsibility as a mother, Jesus in his humanity was a son to her; she maintained a spiritual relationship with Jesus as her Saviour and followed and served him in his work. Jesus in his divinity was the same as God to her. At times, Mary must juggle and balance her views. This ultimately leads to how she identifies with Jesus and relates with Jesus on a personal level, both as her biological Son and divine Saviour.
Mary was personally attached to Jesus on a family level because on a human level, Mary viewed Jesus as her Son. Mary as a mother, like any other mother, truly cared for Jesus. It is natural and necessary for any mother to seek after the welfare and well-being of her child. When she and her husband attended the feast in Jerusalem, for example, they lost Jesus on their way back. She missed her baby boy Jesus and returned to look for him along with her husband. They found him in the temple area. We see that she was undoubtedly a caring and concerned parent.
Luke 2:48–50 (NKJV) 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
As a typical mother, she often desires to see her son (see Luke 8:20). She finds Jesus preaching and teaching in a crowded house.
Luke 8:19–21 (NKJV) 19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” 21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
On one occasion, in a time of need, Mary naturally turns to Jesus for help — at a wedding — for Jesus to do something about the situation of the wine running out at the event. On a spiritual level, she understood Jesus’ omnipotence.
Not only did Mary conceive Jesus, but she was also one of the company of women who followed Jesus in his ministry. Mary understands the importance of her situation and has high esteem for her Son and his supernatural origin. From the announcement by an angel of the Lord about the conception of a Son, it was divinely revealed to Mary that the child was special, supernatural, and spiritual. Mary sees her biological son as God and seeks out her Son for salvation. She recognizes and accepts Jesus not only as her Son (in his humanity) but as her personal Saviour (in his divinity).
Mary is a woman who fears God. She has reverence for God and stands in awe of God (see Luke 1:50). Her spiritual background in the Mosaic law, and God’s covenant of Israel, tells us she knows God.
Luke 2:19 (NKJV) 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Mary is a woman who has faith in God. She is a firm believer in God’s promise and purpose for her life. As a woman who knows the identity and purpose of her Son, she seeks favour from him at a marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. As an act of faith, seeing her Son as divine, she requests the previously mentioned first recorded miracle of Jesus. She was part of the plan of God to save humanity, which was revealed to her, and thus she firmly believes in the Saviour of her own soul.
Luke 1:45 (NKJV) 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
John 2:1–4 (NKJV) 1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
Mary is a woman who clearly follows God. She becomes a disciple of her Son and Saviour for the first time she hears about what she is carrying. She follows and is part of the ministry of her son during his lifetime, and after his death. She remains under the service of the ministry of her Saviour. From the day she received her divine purpose, she accepted and decided to be an active part of it. She dedicated her life to it and was determined to go all the way to the finish line.
Mary is a woman who praises her Saviour. According to the Song of Mary (see Luke 1:46–55), which reveals to us her view of God and her relationship with God. To her God is the Saviour, God is mighty, His name is Holy, God is the promoter and God is the provider.
She, of course, at times, must view, approach, and relate with Jesus on an earthly, personal, spiritual, and supernatural level. Mary was attached to Jesus on a human, and family level, but also was associated with his divine ministry. Mary was committed to her Son’s ministry from conception to crucifixion. She desired a typical relationship with her Son (human to human), and also a spiritual relationship with her Saviour (human to spiritual). She is the only person recorded in the Bible who gave a special birth, which was both supernatural and spiritual. As such, she was the closest one can possibly be to God — She produced a God-man, in God’s own direction. She thus had to learn to view, approach, and relate with Jesus, who is fully her God, and fully human her Son.
The crossroad of Mary’s view of Jesus in practice was seeing her very firstborn Son and her Saviour dying on the cross for her.
John 19:26–27 (NKJV) 26 When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
She had always been there for Jesus — from the conception of her son to the crucifixion of her personal Saviour.
Mary’s multi-tiered relationship with God, therefore, makes her a person whose life we can learn valuable insights from — on how we can view Jesus the Son of God from a divine perspective or Son of man from a human perspective. Mary shows us how to be a faithful disciple of her son, who is also her Lord.
John 19:25–27 (NKJV) 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
Jesus cares deeply for this “woman” (His human mother), and He acknowledges and understands her challenge. Jesus as a faithful son entrusted the care of his mother in the home of one of his disciples He loved (John). He didn’t refer to Mary as his mother but as a “woman” — nevertheless, he identified her as a mother to one of his disciples (John). She lives with the disciple in Jerusalem.
Mary loves Jesus dearly, as any mother would love their own son, both as her Son whom she loves and her personal Saviour. She was present at the cross of her Son and Saviour’s death. How powerful it is that she, who gave birth to her son, is also there to see him die. Mary: The One whom she nourishes is the One who flourishes her soul.
By Wisdom Grace