“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:26 – 27)
At some point children ask where babies come from. I have to wonder what Jesus’ earthly parents told him. Now, you can take the stance that maybe Jesus innately knew or that in his small town knowledge that like was learned from nature and raising livestock or seeing livestock raised. But what I am wondering, and the reason I am raising this point – what, beloved reader, do you think Mary told Jesus about his origins when he was a small child?
“And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” (Verses 28 – 31)
Do you tell a small child the minimal facts of life, the complete and detailed facts of life, or something in-between? Did Mary and Joseph tell him early on what his origins were and the details around his birth? Or did they over his growing up years elaborate more and more, adding details as he grew older?
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”” (Verses 32 – 34)
Mary herself struggled a little to incorporate all of this into her being – considering her stage in life and what her daily life was like at that time. Mary was still pondering the fact that she would have a child, when she knew that not where she was in life. She was not in an appropriate relationship to bring a child into the world. I have to wonder if some of the “Most High”-ness and “reign over the house of Jacob” went over her head. When Jesus asked about where he came from, did she replay this conversation in her mind?
“The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Verses 35 – 37)
I think what Mary did pass on to Jesus, both in direct conversation and in the way she lived her life, was that Lord God will call on the Divine’s children and ask them to play a vital role in the plan for humanity.
“Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” (Verse 38)
I can imagine young Jesus asking for the story over and over again about how he was very directly a child of the Lord God, specifically called and chosen. And that this trait was part of his family from generations back. I can imagine him remembering this as the trials and troubles of his own life and ministry mounted up. And that both his heritage as the Son of God and the son of Mary & Joseph kept him in good stead.
As we move ever closer to the Easter event, may we remember where we came from and what our heritage is. Shalom & Selah!