The Sword In Mary’s Heart
In a small village of Galilee, the angel Gabriel came from the Heavenly Father to tell a young maiden incredible news that would change her life and the destiny of mankind. Joseph and Mary were newly wed, unaware of the remarkable change that would take place. Gabriel tells Mary she will have a son by the Holy Spirit, and He will be called Jesus. Nine months after Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem of Judea to register for the census, Jesus is born. In accordance with the Law of Moses, the infant son is circumcised on the eighth day and called Jesus. Thirty-two days later, when the days of her purification according to the Law were completed, Mary traveled with her husband and newborn son to Jerusalem to present Jesus at the temple.
There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who had been promised by God he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When Joseph and Mary entered the temple, Simeon knew the child they held in their arms was the promised Messiah. He took Jesus in his arms and blessed the young child as the salvation of the world. Joseph and Mary marveled at the words of Simeon. After blessing the young couple, Simeon turns to Mary and tells her words she will never forget. The Child he held in his hand would change the world, but Simeon warns Mary that a sword would pierce her soul because of this little boy’s life.
The early life of Jesus is shadowed under a cloud of unknowns. When Jesus is a few years old, men from the East visit the family, and Joseph and Mary travel to Egypt soon after. After a few years, the family returns to Nazareth, where Jesus will grow into manhood. The son of Mary grows like any other child and enjoys the company of his stepbrothers and stepsisters. Contrary to the doctrine of Roman Catholicism, Joseph and Mary have other sons and daughters. Jesus grows up with siblings. The gospel writer Luke tells of one story when Jesus was twelve years old and amazed the Temple’s scholars. Nothing is known of the next eighteen years of the life of Jesus. There is one certainty that never escapes the mind of Mary – her eldest son is the Son of God.
Of all the people that have lived on the face of the earth, none lived with the absolute certainty that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, as Mary did. Jesus was born of a virgin, and Mary was that virgin. She knew who Jesus was. The sword that would pierce her heart was watching her little boy grow into adolescence and then become a young man. Many were the struggles of her eldest son as he lived a perfect life battling the temptations of Satan. Did His siblings understand how unique their elder brother was? How did Mary deal with her grief in losing her beloved when Joseph died? Did she implore God for intercession? At the age of thirty, Jesus began His ministry. He taught the people He was the Son of God; while many believed and followed Him, many more did not. Mary saw the persecution of the Jewish leaders who hated her son, and she remained silent. When Nazareth rejected their hometown son, what did Mary say?
The greatest sword that pierced the heart of Mary was when the final day came that she must have known was coming. Her son was condemned to die at the hands of the Romans. As a mother, she would not have been far from her son as they condemned him and made him carry his cross. Mary watched as they nailed her son to a cross. She grieved in her heart as they lifted her precious little boy up on that cross and saw the agony and pain in his face. Mary remained silent as her soul was ripped with the sword of grief seeing her son’s suffering. She could have cried out, telling the people who He was, but she did not. When Jesus took those precious moments on the cross to tell his mother his love for her and ask John to care for her, could her heartbreak any more? Then Mary saw her son die. The sword had taken its greatest toll.
Simeon told Mary a sword would pierce her soul, and it did – often. Mary took that sword, and the last record of the mother of Jesus was when she assembled with the first disciples of the New Testament church. One can only imagine the role she must have played in the early church and the stories she could tell of her son. A sword pierced her heart all her life, but her sword of grief led her to the kingdom of God and the glory of her son, who was the Son of God. Mary’s faith was an incredible example of eternal love. A mother’s love comes with a sword. Thank you, Mary.