My husband carried our newborn into our home for the first time in the baby carseat carrier. He walked through the front door, laid the carseat on the floor with our newborn inside, looked at me and asked, “Now, what?”
As first-time parents we felt completely out of sorts. But our confusion was probably only a speck compared to immensity of Mary and Joseph’s uncertainties in parenting God-made-flesh, as an infant and young man.
How did they respond when God’s plan remained mysterious? Maybe their story can help us in our own “huh?” moments.
Listen to the Podcast on Luke 2 or Keep Reading
We pick-up Mary and Joseph’s story in Luke 2 after Jesus’ birth and the angels appearing to shepherds. . .
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Mary treasured and pondered.
Then Luke records how Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to follow the religious law for him to be circumcised and to offer a sacrifice in the temple. Two different people, Simeon and Anna—both devout worshippers of God—recognized Jesus as the Messiah.
Simeon’s response to meeting Jesus:
28 Simeon took him (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
Joseph and Mary marveled.
Jesus at the Temple
The last passage in Luke chapter two is the story of Jesus’ parents losing him for three days in Jerusalem when he was 12, but then they found him in the temple. Jesus discussed ideas with the religious leaders and these scroll-reading-teachers were astounded by the wisdom of such a young man.
Then Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph finally found him.
45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he meant.
51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.
52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
What is the Spirit revealing to you about Mary’s heart?
Was she anxious or calm? Demanding or trusting?
God sent Mary an angel, then shepherds with miraculous vision, godly people filled with the Spirit that proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah, and religious leaders who were spellbound with Jesus’ wisdom.
Jesus also claimed that being in the temple was where he belonged because it was his father’s house.
But Mary did not understand.
Yet, in her not understanding, did Mary run? Did she turn to demand God to explain everything to her?
In other words, she rested in trusting God and thought about the strange and marvelous.
She treasured and pondered more than she trusted in her own understanding (see Proverbs 3:5–6).
What is going on in your life right now that you don’t understand?
Take a moment to pray to God about anything the Spirit brought up in your soul through today’s Scripture reflection.