Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” Luke 2:34-35 (NLT)
What were you doing when you were 14 years old? Most of us were not married and certainly not having a baby. Yes, Mary lived in a different time and culture but she was still “just a girl.”
The Holy Spirit. Once again I see how the Spirit of God is powerful as He brings the seed of God to unite with the one He has chosen to nurture and bring God in the flesh to us. It is this same Spirit that also gives Mary the strength and courage she requires to stand in faith.
The Community. The questions and speculation that were whispered about Mary’s marriage to Joseph and the coming baby were just the beginning of a lifetime of family and others who rejected the idea that Jesus was the Messiah and instead saw Him as a lunatic and fanatic.
The Plan. God always has the best plan and perfect timing but He does not bring peace and ease as we know it. The peace and ease comes to my spirit as I walk in His will. Mary is told here by Simeon that this child, the Messiah, would be opposed. What??? For generations Israel had prayed and waited for the promised Messiah to come and now here He is! But He will not be revealed as a king and conqueror but as a servant.
The Child. On a joyful occasion when Joseph and Mary present Jesus in the Temple, He is recognized by both Simeon and Anna. Mary must have rejoiced as the revelation began, so she thought. To then be told of the opposition that would come and how the events of His life would be so painful for her to watch, it would be like a sword running through her heart. No longer a joyous occasion.
Only the Beginning. The pain Mary would experience was only beginning. The innkeepers rejected she and Joseph any lodging. Many would reject Jesus’ message of servanthood. As she watched Jesus stumble as a toddler, so He would stumble under the weight of the Cross on the way to Calvary. Mary watched Jesus leave her and the carpenter shop to begin the mission for which He was sent. She also watched Him complete that mission as He died. Is there a greater pain for a mother than to watch her child die?
The apostles often met together and prayed with a single purpose in mind. The women and Mary the mother of Jesus would meet with them, and so would his brothers…
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Acts 1:14, 2:1-4 (NLT)
God is faithful. He will give us whatever we need to walk the path we have been given. But we must do our part. Mary shows me how important it is to keep my eyes on God, my ears tuned to His voice and stay surrounded by Believers. We are not promised a life of ease but a life abundant with God’s presence.
Breath of Heaven written and sung by Amy Grant