More Blessed than Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ
Have you ever wondered what it must have felt like for Mary to have nursed Jesus Christ as her own son? Consider for a moment the joy an obedient child brings to his/her parents?
Now imagine, raising a child that never sins!
This was the case with Mary who had the privilege of giving birth to Jesus Christ! What joy Mary must have experienced in having baby Jesus, full of Grace, Truth, Joy and Peace constantly in her presence? She had the privilege of nursing Jesus and seeing Him grow in favour with man and God. (See Luke 2:52)
Mary was a blessed woman indeed and by the Holy Spirit she mentioned the fact that all women from all generations will call her blessed!
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” 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 1:41-49 NIV(emphasis mine)
How would like to have a blessing that will make all people, from all generations, call you blessed? What would you give to be as blessed as Mary? Can any person be blessed more than the woman who nourished the baby Jesus at her breast and raised Jesus Christ in her own arms?
Consider a moment the life of Mary: She was present when Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Mary was the one who told the servants to do all that Jesus told them to do and witnessed His first miracle. (See John 2:1-12)
I proclaim to you that you can be blessed alongside Mary! Indeed you can be blessed to an even a greater measure! Yes, I declare to you that you too can be blessed to an extent that surpasses the blessing of Mary as the mother of Christ in the flesh.
I have several reasons for my declaration. Firstly, Mary lived most of her life only seeing Jesus in his earthly stature or as Paul would phrase it, viewed him from a worldly point of view (as a mere man). (See 2 Corinthians 5:16 and John 10:33) Mary only had the last years of her life to fellowship with Jesus Christ as the glorified Christ (after His crucifixion when she joined the other disciples in prayer and fellowship.)
The second reason I declare to you that you can be more blessed than Mary is because Jesus said so! (Keep reading for the reference) Jesus made it very clear that every man can be extremely and abundantly blessed!
This blessing come to every person that looks to Jesus; hears his word and obeys it!
Now some of you will protest thinking: I can never obey the Word of Christ. However, to obey Jesus is a fruit of believing in Him! Jesus himself said that to do the work of God is to believe in the one the Father has sent. (He was referring to Himself, as the One the Father sent.)
“Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29 NIV
There can be no obedience without faith Abraham believed and was willing to slaughter Isaac because he believed that God would raise the heir of the promise (See Hebrews 6:13-15 and Hebrews 11:17-19) Obedience is a product of faith and as James put it, without deeds, FAITH is dead!
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:14-18 NIV
Our believing will always lead us to obedient ACTION – what Paul calls the obedience of the faith (See Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26)
Jesus promised us an inheritance greater than the blessing Mary received.
Firstly, He told those who come to Him to hear his words, and thus revealed to them the path to real blessing. I reluctantly reduce great spiritual truth to simple formula, but I do believe Jesus gave us a simple formula, so here we go:
1 Coming to Jesus + 2 Listening to Jesus’ words + 3 Putting Jesus’ words into practice (obeying His words) = BLESSING. If you want to be blessed with a life that can withstand any storm that life might throw at you, then listen to the Words of Jesus Christ and obey them.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49 NIV
Based on this Scripture I guess there is room for listing a formula of Deception as well: 1 Coming to Jesus +2 Hearing the Words of Jesus +3 Refusal to obey (putting Jesus’ words into practice) = DECEPTION (leading to destruction)
On one occasion Jesus was teaching such a huge crowd that not even Mary could reach her “own” Son. Jesus then denied Mary’s plea to grant her access to speak to Him. What a contrast to the present-day believer who has continual access to Jesus!
“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:19-21 NIV
It should slowly become clear to you that we, who through the blood of Christ have continual access by the Spirit to the Father and the Son are more blessed than anyone who had Jesus with them in the flesh only (See John 20:29 and Hebrews 10:19-20). Jesus states, that all those who hear His Words and put them into practice are His mother and brothers. Those who listened and obeyed are favoured above Mary, as His physical mother, instead of speaking to her He declared those blessed as the mother and brothers of Jesus Christ. (Children related by Spirit are more real than flesh and blood children. – See John 6:63).
To put my bold declaration beyond a shadow of doubt let’s listen to the gracious words raining from the mouth of Christ:
“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:27-28 NIV (emphasis mine)
Mary had the blessing of giving birth to the physical Christ and nurturing Him. But through His death and resurrection, Life and blessing now is all about RECEIVING BIRTH and SPIRITUAL DRINK from the resurrected glorified Jesus Christ!
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 1:18 – 1 Peter 2:2 NIV (emphasis mine)
Mary had deep intimate fellowship with the baby Christ (giving him nourishing milk) so we, too, as New Testament believers (new born babies) can have deep intimacy with Christ; as we drink His Comfort and are nurtured by His love! These are pictures of deep intimacy between mother and child! This is the kind of intimacy the Lord Jesus Christ longs for us to have with Him.
Jesus reverses the roles of mother and child, placing the responsibility of nurture on Himself and leaving to us the responsibility to simply receive from Him.
David foresaw this wonderful truth and prophetically proclaimed the realities we now share. Will you join David and find rest for your soul in the comfort and intimacy that is ours in Christ Jesus?
“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great Matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131 NIV
“Ministering as a missionary in Europe I came close to the point of burn out and disappointment. As part of a small team of believers, I was striving to make an impact for the Kingdom of God but mostly felt that we were not achieving any tangible results. To be honest I was very despondent and did not really know what to do or how to move forward. I felt overwhelmed. As I was traveling through the streets of Vienna, Austria, I turned my attention to Jesus and prayed one of my favourite prayers. “Lord Jesus, I need help!” Immediately I sensed the Lord’s response as He whispered in my spirit “My son, you do not need to live UP TO, you can live OUT OF”
Initially I was puzzled about the meaning of these words but within a couple of minutes it became very clear. It was as if the Lord was saying, “You don’t need to live UP TO my standards, you can live OUT OF my Grace and provision.”, “You don’t need to live UP TO your own or other people’s expectations, you can live OUT OF my Love, Forgiveness and Mercy.” These kinds of phrases kept running through my mind.
As I meditated on these words I slowly gained more insight and even more slowly started to live out the reality of those words in my daily walk with the Lord. I guess it was a turning point in surrendering my performance for the Lord’s ability to work in and through me” – A disciple learning to surrender to the Great, I AM
Are you trying to nurse the Messiah or is Christ nursing you?
Do you, like David, have intimate moments of fellowship with the Son of God?
Do you deceive yourself by listening to the words of Christ but not obeying them?
Are you performing for God or living a surrendered life?