Even after they heard

“But even after they heard the news, they didn’t believe that Jesus was alive and that Mary had seen him.” –Mark 16:11 CEB

I am trying to imagine how frustrating this must have been for Mary.

She has seen Jesus.

Seen Jesus.

And when she announces the news, they don’t believe it, they don’t believe her.

Can you imagine how she felt?

Raising Jesus in the Faith

Joseph and Mary raised Jesus according to the faith. Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day, named as the angel had said, presented to the Lord with a sacrifice, taken into the arms of a devout old Jewish man, and talked about by an elderly prophetess (see Luke 2:21-38).

The account goes on to tell us: “When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:39-40 NIV).

And we can add to all that the fact that every year Jesus’ parents “went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41). Included in these pilgrimages was the year, when Jesus was twelve, that his parents lost track of Him, only to find Him sitting in the temple courts among the teachers, asking them questions.

  • How do you think the faith of Joseph and Mary affected Jesus?
  • How did God use these experiences in Jesus’ life to form Him?
  • How did God use these experiences in Jesus’ life to teach us?
  • In what ways did your religious upbringing form you?

Mary, Motherhood, and Jesus

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NIV).

After the birth of Jesus, Mary had a lot to “treasure up” and ponder in her heart. There was the census. The travel. The manger. The shepherds. The angels. The heavenly host. Yes, there was much to treasure and ponder.

I recently spent a day with my mother. In the course of our conversation, she told several stories about my childhood. Some I had heard before, some repeatedly through the years. But others were new stories that shed a little more light on who I am.

Have you ever wondered what Mary shared with Jesus?

Did she share her memories of how she felt when she saw the No Vacancy sign flashing at the Inn? Did a young Jesus love to hear his mother tell about how the animals reacted as she birthed him? Did an excited boy Jesus ever say, “Mom, tell me the one about the shepherds!”?

I wonder what stories Mary shared with Jesus. And I wonder what events provoked the telling of certain stories. What would it have been like to watch Jesus grow in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and people? What was motherhood like for Mary? In what ways was it similar to any mother’s experience? In what ways was it different?

Yes, I wonder what stories Mary told Jesus. I wonder when and why she told him those stories. What was going? When did she choose to tell him? But more than that, I wonder if there were any of these events that Mary treasured and pondered but that she never even tried to tell Jesus. Were there stories she just kept hidden in her heart?

Labor of Love

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
calloused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

from Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson