Scripture is full of ridiculous things – armies fleeing in inexplicable terror, parted waters, walking on water, and formerly dead people. However, there is a verse quite near the beginning of the New Testament that could lay claim to the prize for most socially ridiculous statement in the Bible. Matthew, when writing to the religious Hebrews of all people, said, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child.”
This is how it all started, he wrote. It was time for the wedding, but Mary was pregnant, and it wasn’t Joseph’s baby. Well, now, there is a nice start to a story. What a conversation piece! And Matthew was not finished. “She was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” If that is not ridiculous, nothing is. It is the very definition of ridiculous: “That which may justly excite laughter with contempt.”
How could anyone believe that the God of the universe would actually choose this poor, unknown girl to carry His Child? If she was pregnant, she was guilty! She needed to be punished!
Yet God’s ways are higher than ours. He saved her from the humiliations that could have legally come. Joseph did not leave her. She was not punished. In fact, she did not even need to send out “It’s a boy!” announcements. Angels took care of that for her.
Yes, the idea of God Himself coming into a poor family and living the life of the required sacrifice is crazy to any thinking person. But I am glad He doesn’t think so.
— By Michelle Avery, Editorial Assistant, Herald and Banner Press, Inc.
Mary, one of the most famous mothers in the history of mankind, must have been worried by the problem of busyness and feeling like her life was going by too quickly. After all, she was only carrying the Son of the Almighty. That little one beginning to learn to talk? Just the one who spoke an entire universe into existence. Can you imagine the first time young Mary cleaned up her Son’s bloodied knee? Do you suppose she realized the knowledge and the healing power He had?
Maybe she did not realize at first. How could she understand the role her Son would play in the history of the world? The angel had explained how a virgin could become a mother but not how that Baby would be able to save the world. Surely Mary did not know what was in store for her Son.
“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). In other words, “Every circumstance relative to her son’s birth, Mary treasured up in her memory; and every new circumstance she weighed, or compared with those which had already taken place, in order to acquire the fullest information concerning the nature and mission of her son” (Adam Clarke).
Even with all the prophecies down through the centuries and the recent messages from the angels, Mary did not know how life would treat her Son. What she did know — and could trust — was that there was a faithful and loving God overseeing everything He would encounter. And taking time to weigh that certainty against each new experience kept life from running away from her.