His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
You can tell a lot about a person when you really hear what they say. It is the same with Mary, and Christmas time is a great time to listen to her. There is no doubt that she stands apart from every other woman who has ever lived. Yet, by her own confession, Jesus is truly the star of the Bethlehem manger scene and rightly so!
Notice these words of Mary in Luke 1:47, "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." Mary made a very important statement. She needed a savior. Every man woman and child who has ever lived needs salvation. Not even the greatest saints of the Bible were exempt from this need. It was their acknowledgement of this need that made them great and not just their deeds. Even Mary understands that she is need of salvation. Since she is about to deliver the Redeemer, she needs His redemption. What humility! It is even possible that the phrase "God my savior" (Theos mou soter in Greek) is an admission of needing Jesus. Jesus' Hebrew name is Yehowshua (often shortened to Yeshua) and it literally means YHWH is Savior. Jesus, therefore, is "God my Savior". As the words of a song I heard yesterday said, "Mary knew when she delivered she would be delivered."
The great saints of the Bible also believed first and then acted on their faith. They did not do good works to convince God that they were good--that is being your own savior. Working to appease God will only lead you away from God as it robs Him of the glory of being your savior. The Bible saints trusted the grace of God and then they acted on His word. Mary, also, is no exception. When Gabriel delivers God's message Mary's first words were, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (Luke 1:34)?" She is not in doubt, but she is simply trying to understand a concept that is beyond her grasp. It is her next words recorded in Luke 1:38 that reveal her reaction to the grace presented to her, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." What a thought provoking response! She heard God's word and then responded by faith once she had simple understanding. Do you need salvation as Mary did or have some other need you need met? Hear God's word for you, understand it, and believe!
All great saints keep their focus on God and not self. That is why Mary also always seemed to shift the focus to Jesus. It is interesting to note her words in John 2:5 (above). These are her last known recorded words in scripture and they occur before Jesus begins His public ministry. They direct us back to Jesus. Not only is she focusing us on Jesus, so is the author, John. How? John is by what he does not record Mary saying. No other person spent as much time with Mary after the resurrection of Christ as did John. Jesus' last words to them both as recorded in john 19:26-27 were, "Woman, behold thy son! (John), Behold thy mother! John further records, "And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." History informs us that Mary was near John for the rest of her life. Now, why did John not include more of her words? Like Mary, John also knew that the true Star of Bethlehem was Jesus. Mary and John both wanted all readers to focus on the only one who brings salvation--Jesus.
Not only are great saints focused on God, they also are obedient to what He asks of them. Mary, again, is no exception. Two of Jesus' brothers are also Bible authors. James (a bad transliteration of Jacob) and Jude (Judah) also were sons of Mary. As recorded above, Jesus told Mary to stay with John for reasons we can only guess at. James was an outstanding pastor and early church leader, so it is possible that Jesus' command was associated with that fact. What is interesting is that Mary left biological children to stay with an apostle of her Son as He wished. She listened to her own advice and calls to us to do the same. "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."
During this Christmas season, are you willing to be like Mary and all of the great saints of the Bible? Simply follow the example left us by Mary. See your need for salvation that is only found in Jesus. Act out that simple belief by asking Him to cleanse you of sin and come into your life. As an act of love and devotion, let Jesus become the focus of all of your life. Also as an act of love and devotion, follow Him obediently always! There is not a greater time to accept this great gift God wrapped in swaddling clothes than now!