Summary: This message looks at the two most important Marys in the Life of Jesus. Mary his mother and Mary Magdalene
A Reflection of Trust
She was a critical piece of the puzzle. And she truly is what makes Christmas Christmas. She was the original Madonna and she put the word “Virgin” in songs two thousand years before “Like a Virgin” became a hit. Through the years she’s been called The Holy Mary, Saint Mary, The Blessed Mother, The Mother of God and on and on and on. But in the Bible she is simply called Mary.
Max Lucado has twenty-five questions that he wants to ask Mary the mother of Jesus; here are a few of my favourites.
What was it like watching him pray?
When he saw a rainbow did he ever mention a flood?
Did you ever feel awkward teaching him how he created the world?
When he saw a lamb being led to the slaughter did he act differently?
Did you ever try to count the stars with him . . . and succeed?
Did he ever come home with a black eye?
Did he have any friends by the name of Judas?
Did the thought ever occur to you that the God to whom you were praying was asleep under your own roof
Did you ever accidentally call him father?
What did he and his cousin John talk about as kids?
Did you ever think, That’s God eating my soup?
Mary is my hero. She was the one chosen to change the diapers of God. But before that she was just a young lady, with all the dreams and aspirations that young ladies 2000 years ago had. She was going to get married and she was going to raise a family. Nothing complicated. And the first part of the plan was already coming together in the scripture that was read earlier it says Matthew 1:18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. The plan became derailed however with the next line in that passage, But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And I know that there are folks out there who poo poo the entire idea of the virgin birth, and even some pastors and churches who say that it’s not possible for a virgin to conceive and then they assure their people that it’s not really necessary to believe in the Virgin birth. They would tell you that Matthew simply meant that Mary was a young woman, or perhaps a young unmarried woman.
If you’ve ever been to Greece then you might have had the opportunity to visit the “Parthenon” in Athens. This is considered to be the most important surviving example of Classical Greek architecture. It was built around 400 years before the birth of Christ and it was dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena, here is a stature of her which is called Athena Parthenos, or literally Athena the Virgin. Parthenon the building literally meant the Virgin’s Room. Why is that important? Because the Greek word Parthenos is the word that is used time and time again to describe Mary.
And really there are only two options, either Mary was a Virgin or someone other than Joseph got her pregnant before the wedding.
Entire sermons have been preached on the Virgin birth, as a matter of fact I have preached entire sermons on the virgin birth, but the bottom line is you either believe it or you don’t believe it, the choice is yours. I believe it.
It was Mary who was there when Jesus was conceived, it was Mary who was there when Jesus was born, it was Mary who was there when Jesus was murdered.
Two weeks ago I spoke about Mary’s husband Joseph and the part he played in the beginning of Jesus’ life and then we looked at another Joseph. Joseph of Arimathea who was there when Jesus died and who gave up his own tomb for Jesus’ body to be laid in. The title of that message was “A Reflection of Sacrifice.”
Today’s message is entitled “A Reflection of Trust” and Mary the Mother of Jesus is not the only Mary who plays an integral part in the story of Jesus.
There was another Mary and we find her at the end of the story. She has been vilified and deified. Her name is Mary Magdalene and through the years she has been surrounded with myth and legend. With the exception of Mary the mother of Jesus there is no other woman from the bible who has been the subject of so much discussion and speculation as has Mary.
In the year 591, Pope Gregory the Great in a sermon preached to a gathering of Bishops declared that the Mary of Luke 8 was indeed the sinful woman mentioned in Luke 7 and was actually a prostitute. If I had done that people would say; “interesting theory Denn has”, but when you’re Pope and considered infallible when you say someone’s a prostitute then they are a prostitute.