Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Incarnate King through a Mother's Eyes

Luke 2:16-19 "So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart."

In the history of Christian thought, Mary has been treated in two extreme ways. Either she has been venerated to the point of near devotion to that of Christ Himself, or she has been utterly ignored. Both treatments mishandle the Biblical portrayal of her. I find it an interesting exercise to consider the Person of Jesus through her eyes. What did she experience? How did she perceive His life, death and resurrection? In today's post we want to consider how Mary saw Jesus as the Incarnate King.

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, Hail the Incarnate Deity
The prolific commentator Herbert Lockyer writes these words about Mary's experience of the incarnate King: "When Mary willingly yielded her body to the Lord saying: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word,' The Holy Spirit, by His gentle operation, took Deity and humanity and fused them together and formed the love knot between our Lord's two natures within Mary's being."

Sometimes a familiar song can shed light. I'm sure we are all familiar with the Christmas carol: "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". The above heading to this paragraph is derived from that beloved carol. When coupled with the the opening verses in today's post, we are astonishing in what is recorded, and what seems to be absent. We see recorded the haste of the Shepherds. In Matthew's version (Matthew 2:1ff), we find the Christ-child a young toddler (since it would had taken the wise men two years to make the 800 mile or more journey from Babylonia to Jerusalem). The wise men bow down and worship the little one. The reverence and adoration is recorded in both scenes. However, the stark simplicity and absence of ornateness befitting for the Eternal King in human flesh is more prominent.

Mary's response in Luke's Gospel of treasuring all the things she experience in her heart gives us a glimpse through her eyes. A mother's love is the most powerful and intense expression of parental love that can be found outside of God's love. As she received the news of the miracle that would occur in her womb concerning the Spirit's joining of the Eternal Son to her human DNA, Mary simply said in response to the angel in Luke 1:37-38 "For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her." 

We see in these touching scenes a mother's response to the Incarnate King. By divine miracle, the forging of true humanity to the Person of the Eternal Son resulted in full humanity and undiminished Deity operating in concert in the Person of the Son. Such reflections as those above serve to aid us in considering the Incarnate King through a mother's eyes.

Closing thoughts for practical consideration
As we close today, notice a few points concerning Mary's regard of the Incarnate King that serve to instruct us as to how the Christ-follower ought to consider Jesus Christ:

1. She treasured the Incarnate King
2. She trusted the Incarnate King
3. She talked about the Incarnate King

That final thought especially is seen in her song that is called in the Latin Bible: "The Magnificant" in Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said:

“My soul exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name.
50 “And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him. 51 “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. 52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. 53 “He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever.”

May we today do like Mary did and treasure, trust and talk about the incarnate King - Jesus Christ. 

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