Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Most Favored Mother

When Jesus was crucified, the Gospels record several significant things that occurred during that time. One of those incidences: "Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son,' and to the disciple, 'Here is your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her into his home" (John 19:25-27).

This touching story is very insightful for understanding Jesus' relationship with this mother, Mary. It is important to notice that when Jesus was on the cross he did not call out for his mother, rather he expressed concern for her. Even though he had brothers and sisters, it was the disciple John who was present at the cross. Jesus wanted his mother to be looked after and cared for and he gave this responsibility to John, "the disciple whom he loved."

As in the movies, let us flashback to the time before Jesus was born when the announcement was made to Mary about the birth of Jesus: "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.' 'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?'" (Luke 1:26-34)

Mary was truly an outstanding young woman. Of all women living at the time she was chosen to be the mother of the Lord Jesus. No doubt one of the reasons why was because of her purity. The Scriptures states in two places (Matthew 1:23 and Luke 1:27) that Mary was a virgin. How many young ladies today could qualify? By Mary's own testimony she was a virgin and because of that had difficulty understanding how she was going to give birth to a child. The angel explained that this would come about through the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, Mary was unique in her spirituality. Upon learning how God wanted to use her she testified about her knowledge and understanding of God: "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name'" (Luke 1:46-49). Anyone reading this statement would be impressed by her theological insight; especially for a 15-16 year old girl.

Mary is also to be noted for her availability to be used by God. Mary said to the angel, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). Someone has said that the ability that God most often looks for in us is our availability. What is it that God wants you to do? What is your response when he calls?

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