It is with pure joy that women who are a part of the Digging Deep study, during this month of May, study the only sinless life ever lived. Matthew chapters one and two are very important to those of us who are followers of the Messiah. They are truly amazing in that our all-powerful God had completed the orchestration of events to fulfill scores of specific Old Testament prophecies to bring world events and kingdoms to the very moment of perfection for the placement of His Son in the womb of a woman by a miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit.
Mary was just a common girl, in the eyes of the society about her. She was part of the proud, but oppressed Jewish nation. Her people, though allowed to go about their business in peace, were taxed and ultimately ruled by the great Roman Empire. Her hometown of Nazareth was considered little more than a ghetto in Galilee and her family was neither wealthy nor notable. (According to Leviticus 12, a Jewish mother, after her baby’s delivery and her purification, was to go and make a burnt offering of a lamb and a sin offering of a dove or pigeon. If she could not afford to offer a lamb, she could substitute a bird for the burnt offering, as well. Mary, in her poverty, made this substitute offering.)
I was recently a visitor in a home where the arrival of the firstborn son was eminent. A new crib had been ordered, along with a changing table and a dresser. The nursery was the focus of attention. It had a new and pristine coat of paint, with brightly colored borders and trims. Framed poetry written by a family member, dressings for the crib, and a matching diaper stacker were stacked around the perimeter of the room and the closet was already filled with tiny little outfits.
But Jesus the Christ was placed in a borrowed feeding trough. The scents were not those of diaper Genies and baby lotion. The sounds were not quiet hums of medical equipment and gentle lullaby music. Farm animals are neither sterile nor quiet. There were no cute birth announcements, but shepherds did receive the birth announcement from a multitude of the heavenly host.
And, through all of this, what was Mary thinking? You can be sure that, following the angel’s announcement, she went back through the Holy Scriptures and treasured the reading of each specific prophecy about the child she carried. When the baby moved and she wondered if that was a shoulder or an elbow that poked her, surely she remembered the promise that the government would be upon that shoulder. When she worried about that trip to pay taxes, she surely remembered even in the chaos of nine- month travel, that she bore the Prince of Peace. Surely as she made the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, she knew that, whenever she returned, she would be nursing, diapering, and mothering the Son of God. Mary was truly sanctified, set apart, chosen for this, the most natural, yet most amazing job ever given a woman.
As we read through the lineage of Jesus in Matthew one, we find three more ordinary women…the most unlikely of Old Testament women, in fact, who were sanctified to be ancestresses of the Christ child–a prostitute, a Moabitess, and an adulteress. Can you find them in the lineage? Find and read their stories in the Old Testament.
May we remember that God can transform the unlikeliest among us into women for His purposes. Does He want you to be a mother of a great evangelist? Is He giving you a chance, even now, to lead a future leader to Him? Has he put you in a classroom that may yield a future elder or the great Bible class teacher for the next generation? Has he placed you in the life of a diseased woman who may desperately need your assistance and prayers? Has He given you talents to write, speak, sew, clean, entertain, cook, craft, visit, create, paint, evangelize, invite, befriend, nurse, or comfort for the Cause? If so are you sanctifying those gifts for Him? Are you sanctified?