The previous post speculated on why Joseph was a type of man that God the Father chose to fulfill the role of father to His Son. Today we make a similar query regarding God’s choice of Mary as the mother of Jesus.
Scholars differ on the age of Mary when she was visited by the angel and became the mother of Jesus. Many make the shocking suggestion that she was as young as 12 with some of the higher-end speculations coming in at age 17. Though we can’t know, the consensus seems to be that she was quite young.
That fact becomes of interest as we consider the Magnificat, the name assigned to the song of praise voiced by Mary in response to Elizabeth’s greeting, which acknowledged that Mary was “the mother of my Lord.” (Luke 1:43) We recall that though Elizabeth had been barren, in their old age God enabled Zacharias and Elizabeth to have a son, John the Baptist. When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, and shortly thereafter went to visit Elizabeth and Zacharias. After Elizabeth extended the greeting noted above, Mary responded as follows:
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever. (Luke 1:46-55 ESV)
In reflecting on Mary’s monologue we can’t help but be gripped by several factors. The first is the depth and beauty of this response, which as we have already noted was composed by a young lady probably in her mid-teens. Adding to our amazement regarding the beauty and profundity of these words is the fact that the context would lead us to believe that they were spontaneous. They came in response to something that Elizabeth had said, and therefore seem not to be a prepared speech.
However, perhaps the most notable aspect of this response is that it is comprised almost entirely of Old Testament allusions and quotations, some calculate a total of 39. Imagine a teenage girl, apparently from humble circumstances, being so familiar and saturated with Scripture that it just pours out of her so that a plethora of citations are compressed into a rather brief soliloquy.
This gives evidence to the fact that even as a young girl Mary spent many hours pouring over Scripture. It also conveys that she had a deep love for Scripture, since so much of it was embedded in her heart.
Therefore, we can glean from the Magnificat that in choosing a mother for His Son, God the Father sought for a young lady whose mind and heart were saturated with Scripture.
The Bible makes no secret of why this is important.
Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:7-8 NKJV)
Other passages accentuate the same truth. If God the Father felt that saturation with Scripture was an essential qualification for the mother of His Son, certainly this is a quality that we as moms and dads and grandparents and friends and neighbors should emulate.
PS: In looking for some Christmas music that did not feature “Santa Baby” and “Dominick the Donkey,” I came across a website run by Christians that plays Christmas music year around. The link christmascarolsradio.org