What criteria did God use for selecting the Messiah’s mother?
The Usual Things?
Was he looking for a sweet personality? Perhaps a top tier, upwardly mobile, highly intelligent woman? Did those things matter? Were there other considerations?
The Messiah had to come from the tribe of Judah, of the line of David, and have a virgin birth. He would be called a Nazarene, so God needed someone from Nazareth, and Nazareth was a very small village. How many virgins, from the tribe of Judah, of the line of David, could there be in Nazareth? He only needed one.
Was There Something Deeper?
Gabriel told Mary some incredible things. He said that God favored her and that she would deliver the Holy One, the son of David. That she would be with child and yet remain a virgin. That the power of the Most High would overshadow her. Can you imagine? Most of us would have fainted on the spot. But not Mary. Her response was,
“I am the Lord’s servant; may it be to me as you have said.”
Was that the deeper quality God was searching for, a submissive spirit?
The Messiah’s mother would have to be incredibly strong. Do you remember what Simeon said at Jesus’s dedication?
“And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
She watched her son be beaten and scourged. She heard the insults and hateful words She witnessed the hammering of spikes. Did she wince when the old rugged cross settled into it’s resting place, with a sudden and violent thud? Probably not as she wouldn’t have wanted Jesus to see her pain, only her love.
She bore his cross with her head held high. Only a mother could do that, and maybe not every mother.
Mary was an amazing person, she had to be. She was heaven’s choice to be the Messiah’s mother, she was the choice of God.
I think Mary was smart, gifted, and beautiful. But God’s criteria had little to do with such things. He was looking for a gentle and quiet spirit, for a deep well of inner strength, and for someone with unimpeachable character. He found her.
This Christmas, let’s be thankful for Mary. For she embraced the most difficult challenge of all. She gave birth to her son and then raised her son to die.
Thank you Mary.