By Leslie Hester, Preschool Ministry Director
As a mother you spend years not only protecting your children, but also wondering if everything you are doing will help them become the person they are meant to be. You spend long nights praying for their future and hoping the help and advice you’ve given will be enough. As they grow you look back at “the hard years” thinking they were never going to end but they seemed to have passed little by little. You realize that those sleepless nights, when you and your baby are alone–you holding them, rocking them, are irretrievable. You will never get them back.
As they grow into school age years one day you wake up and realize they don’t need your help getting ready because they have gotten ready without you. Oh you would never dress them like that, but you’re proud of their independent spirit! Then you think to yourself, “If I could have just one more opportunity to help them; to tie their shoe, fix their lunches.”
Fast forward to the teenage years, you argue as they begin to grow into their own person and you wonder if you will both survive. Despite all of those disagreements and not seeing eye to eye as they leave your home, you often long wrap your arms around them and protect them from hurt while at the same time wonder if you have done enough to prepare them for what is to come. You think to yourself, “If I could just hold them one more time.”
Now put yourself in Mary’s shoes. From the time she found out she was going to have a baby, she knew he was to be great and that he would be the savior of the world. She knew from her conversation with the angel in Luke that he would be great despite the mistakes all parents make… I mean they did leave him at the temple only to go back and find him not scared and looking for them but teaching. Although Mary was worried, she knew this was all part of what the angel had told her. In Luke 2:51 we are told that “she treasured all these things in her heart.”
Fast forward to where Jesus is grown and starts performing miracles. If you’re a parent, you know how proud Mary must have felt, not in a prideful way but a “that’s my boy way” as he ministered to people through his healing and teaching. Then everything changes. The crowds who once followed him turned on him. The ones who shouted Hosanna now shout “crucify him!” Mary’s son is beaten, mocked and crucified.
She is there through all of it. Does she longingly reflect on memories of his childhood, teen years (yes, Jesus was a teenager!), and his young adulthood? Regardless of our temptation to dehumanize Jesus, he was the son of a mother who loved him deeply and cared for him compassionately.
On the cross, all that changed. She couldn’t stop this. Jesus was dying for her! Her son was also her Savior. Her once newborn would now give her new life. The one who depended on her for food and a roof over his head would become for her the bread of life and go to prepare a place for her. Everything changed. Everything.
In the middle of the greatest and most awful moment in human history, Jesus remembered her. Dying for the sins of humanity (and Mary’s too), Jesus made sure she would now have a roof over her head and food on her plate. Looking at his best friend, John, he said, “Woman, behold your son.” In other words, Mary, John will take care of you now.
What humanity and divinity–Jesus, the God-man dying for Mary his mother.
Woman, behold your son.