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Let me ask you this: If you were unable to raise your children, what characteristics would you look for in the people you chose to take care of them?
The passages of Scripture that tell of Christ’s birth have become so over-familiar to us, haven’t they?
I’m teaching our adult Sunday school class this week, and as I was looking for a lesson that wasn’t the same old same old, all I could find was….well, the same old same old. I went back to the beginning of Luke and began to read the familiar words again.
Then the question I asked above came into my head. I realized that out of all the people who have ever lived, God chose Mary and Joseph to raise his son, Jesus. Clearly they pleased Him. Wouldn’t it be interesting, I thought, to look into their character to hunt for qualities that we could apply to our own lives as we seek to be people who please God.
Mary and Joseph
Mary and Joseph both were able to hear (and more importantly, recognize) God’s voice. You know I love a good analogy, and I heard the greatest one that applies here.
God’s voice is like a radio wave that’s constantly being sent out. We can turn our radio on, but for us to hear what he’s broadcasting, we need to tune our radio to His signal. The spiritual disciplines (things like praying, reading Scripture, meditating, worshiping, etc.) are what tune us in to Him.
In order to hear and know that it’s God’s voice we’re hearing, we need to be practicers (is that a word?) of the spiritual disciplines. Clearly Mary and Joseph were.
We see in Luke that not only were they knowledgeable of Scripture, but obeyed God’s law. They were also obedient in how they parented young Jesus, raising him in the instruction of the Word.
One of my favorite verses in all of the Bible is Luke 2:52.
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
So much to think about in one short sentence! Clearly he was innately gifted by God in these areas, but might his earthly parents have had something to do with this growth as well? I think yes.
Other glimpses we get of Mary can teach us about her if we’re looking. For example, twice in the book of Luke we see that after meaningful events, Mary pauses to ponder. She treasures these moments in her heart. Are you a ponder-er, mom?
We also see her noticing needs, wanting to help, and making mistakes. She wasn’t perfect. But she was tuned in to God’s signal, and she was faithfully obedient.
Although Scripture doesn’t give us a complete picture of them, there are many things to glean about Mary and Joseph that can show us what God values.
If you need a lesson for a class, women’s group, Bible study, or your own personal study, I hope you find this helpful. It prompted some good discussion in our group.
Click here to view and print the PDF lesson: