Mary's Journey from Mother to Disciple

December 31, 2018

 

  

Luke's Gospel provides many insights into the Jewish maiden Miriam (Mary). The very way he records her stories gives evidence that Luke received this information from her first-hand. For example, when the angel appeared to her she was alone, no one else knew that story. How can Luke record this? He also makes very personal observations like her perplexity about what she heard (1:29) and how she ponders these things in her heart (2:19).

An important part of the Hebraic heritage of our Gospels is that they contain information not only about Jesus but the testimony of eyewitnesses like his mother. These sacred documents are a celebration of Immanuel, God with us. And perhaps no greater witness is given than that the mother of the Messiah became his dedicated disciple.

That is my fifth and final point, Miriam is commendable as both a model and a mentor because she became her son's dedicated disciple.

The scriptures attest that Joseph and Mary are devout. They circumcised baby Yeshua on the eighth day and dedicated him, their firstborn son, at the Temple. All this according to the Torah of Moses.

Every year, according to the Gospels, Mary and Joseph would take their children up to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. It was a difficult four-day journey, one that many would only do once in a lifetime. All this and more indicates the piety of this chosen couple.

Equally impressive is the fact that this strong, devout Jewish mother could release her son to his ministry. Her humility and servant attitude—revealed in her answer to Gabriel, "let it be so according to your word"—produced a passion that enabled her to release her cherished son to his ministry.

There is an occasion when she comes with her other sons to Yeshua, as he is making disciples. She said, "Would you go tell him that his mother is here? I need to see him." What does he say? "Who is my mother? Who is my father? Who are my brothers and sisters? Those who are doing the will of my Father in heaven, those who are in my kingdom." 

This idea is radical and profound. Jesus is saying that for him at this juncture in his ministry, the kingdom family takes precedence over natural family relationships.

Now a lot of people including probably you and me would get in a huff about his statement. What does Mary do? She packs up her bags, and she follows Jesus. She becomes his disciple. Her boy now becomes her master. Her son becomes her rabbi (teacher). And she is with him throughout His ministry, as a disciple.

She even follows him unto death. Miriam is there when Yeshua is lifted up on the cross. My mind cannot comprehend that; I wish I could. I wish I had enough creative imagination to get but a glimpse of what it must have been like for Miriam to see her son suffering this most cruel and inhumane form of death.

I am struck by the fact that this daughter of Abraham must have called to mind that Abraham himself was called on and was willing to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son. Now she must give up her beloved son upon whom the Kingdom of God would depend. One can almost hear the whisper of her tortured heart, "Let it be so according to your word, Oh LORD. My whole life passion is to be your faithful servant."

Miriam is one remarkable woman who produced one remarkable son. Luke goes on to record more good news about her in the Book of Acts. We read that the mother of Jesus was in that upper room with the apostles and disciples waiting obediently and patiently for the promise of Pentecost to be fulfilled.

"All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers." (Acts 1:14)

Miriam became a dedicated disciple, and so must we.

Let me summarize for you my five points. I hope you can remember them or write them down and ponder them in your heart. Mary is both a role model for us and a mentor to us because she was,

 

  1. Marked by favor for service to the Lord

  2. Noted for her humility and servant's heart

  3. A student of the Hebrew Scriptures and committed them to her heart

  4. Given to praise

  5. A devout mom who became a dedicated disciple

 

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