There was never a mother like Mary, mother of Jesus. Not because she was different in nature or being, but because of what God called her to do. She was an ordinary young woman, a sinner saved by grace, blessed with the great task of bearing in her womb, the Lord of glory. Never knowing a man, the Holy Ghost came upon her and the power of the Highest overshadowed, and the virgin conceived a child, the Son of God. A miraculous conception foretold by angelic announcement– indeed great is the mystery of godliness. The virgin conception is unique to human history, but from that point onward, her pregnancy followed the ordinary course of women. Mary carried Jesus for the normal time and she was delivered of the child in the ordinary way.
Like all Jewish Mother’s, she stayed home for 40 days after the birth before she could go to the temple because she was reckoned spiritually unclean (Leviticus 12:3-4). After her time of purification, she went to the temple to present Jesus unto the Lord, like all Jewish mother’s did (Exodus 13:2) and then to offer a sacrifice for her sin (Luke 2:24), in the ordinary way. In the temple, there was a devout man named Simeon, when he saw Jesus, prophesied of the greatness of the Saviour of men, then turned to Mary, and said, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Though Mary was blessed among women to carry and raise the Saviour, she would suffer. The sword Simeon spoke of was a metaphor for suffering, as no sword forged of man could pierce the soul. Mary, was an ordinary mother, and as such, she suffered when she saw her child suffer. She grieved when, likely another year or so later, when the wise men came and the angel warned them to flee to Egypt because Jesus’ life was in danger. She sorrowed when she though Jesus was lost in Jerusalem alone as a child. There was agony when she saw Jesus do and preach only good, to be returned with hatred. She suffered when she heard the priests she honored deride, lie about, and attempt to ensnare her son. She sorrowed most of all, when Jesus hung on the cross. Oh, the grief that pierced her soul, to see her Son, and her Saviour, beaten, bloodied, broken, nailed to a cross as those of her countrymen mocked and laughed.
Mary was an ordinary woman, called of God for a great task. She loved her son, cared for him, and never stopped loving him. And as all mother’s know, she hurt when her son hurt. Praise God for the ordinary, godly mother. But as no other Mother has ever known, her sorrowed was multiplied, as her Saviour suffered in her stead.