Summary: Five godly qualities which Mary possessed that mark her off as perhaps the greatest mother of all time.
The Greatest Mother of All
The producers of the TV program, “The Simpsons” have gone too far in my estimation. In a recent broadcast, they portrayed Mary, the mother of Jesus as someone who intervenes in a fight by beating up all the combatants. She settles the melee by using brute force. Not surprising, since the producers seem to relish the opportunity to show Christianity in a bad light.
Am I a prude? Shouldn’t I lighten up a bit? Now, I realize that this is a cartoon show, designed for humor, but is there nothing sacred these days? How far do we need to go to entertain and/or make money?
The description given concerning Mary in the Scriptures is one of profound holiness and humility. She was inducted into God’s “Hall of Fame” centuries ago. And when one thinks about Mother’s Day, perhaps more attention should be directed toward her. After all, Mary could be said to be the greatest mother of all time.
Have you ever wondered why God chose Mary to be the mother of our Lord? She was without a doubt a very unique person---the only one among thousands of Jewish women to be selected as God’s instrument for bringing His Son into the world. She was truly one of a kind!
Why was Mary so blessed of God? Why was she so highly favored? Was it because she was sinless? No, only one Person can claim this. I believe God chose her because she possessed certain godly qualities.
1. MARY WAS PURE
The village of Nazareth, where Mary lived and grew up lay in the path of caravans going from Capernaum to the seaports. As in every generation, there were women in that town who became involved with the traveling men. But not Mary!
Of course, there couldn’t have been any unfaithfulness in Mary, otherwise God wouldn’t have chosen her. Centuries before the angel appeared to Mary, God’s prophet Isaiah wrote these words: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
God, through His Word, required that the one who was to be the mother of Jesus, be a virgin, pure and holy. The words that came to her from Gabriel that day echoed God’s full approval: “And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest’” (Luke 1:30-32).
When Mary heard this, she was overwhelmed. “How will this be?” she asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of god” (Luke 1:35).
Some of the great masterpieces of art show the angel announcing this message to Mary and presenting her with a branch of lily. The lily is a symbol of Mary’s purity.
2. MARY WAS SUBMISSIVE
When the angel finished his startling announcement that Mary was to be the mother of the Messiah, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant; be it unto me according to Your word” (Luke 1:38).
In other words, she said, “Lord, whatever you want, I want.” Now she could have hesitated or even rebelled. She could nave said, “Not me, Lord. There must have been some mistake. I’m unworthy. Besides, I’m poor. He should have a royal home with lots of servants.”
But she didn’t. She was willing to endure a great deal. For example:
• The seeming shame of being pregnant our of wedlock;
• The chance of losing Joseph. Would he believe her?
• Neighbors and family would raise questioning eyebrows and whisper to one another.
• Others would begin to spread nasty rumors.
Why was Mary willing to suffer all the reproach that would result from her condition? Because she totally believed God and wanted His will in her life more than anything else.
You see, the Lord doesn’t want us to give Him first place in our lives; He wants the second and third as well. In other words, He wants all of our lives!
Mary had discovered the secret of peace and joy in her life. She freely surrendered her wants to those of God’s. The greatest example of her submissive attitude is seen in the serene surrender of her Son to God’s purpose.
In this respect, she is not unlike another godly mother that we read about in the Old Testament---Hannah. Samuel was given to her in answer to prayer, and she made a vow concerning him. When he was weaned, she gave him back to God unreservedly for Tabernacle service.