As we approach Christmas week, I want to share a glimpse of the parents of Jesus – Joseph and Mary. What were they like? Why were they chosen to parent a Savior? First, Joseph. The Bible does not share a lot of detail regarding the earthly father of our Savior, however, we do know that he was not the biological father of Jesus; God was…and is. Also, the Bible says that Joseph obeyed God when it came to protecting God’s Son, like when they fled a wicked ruler and went to Egypt.
So, what was Mary like? For this, let’s read the account of an encounter with an angel.
Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Several things to note here about Jesus’ mother. First, she was startled when she met the angel. Now, wouldn’t you be scared? Note, she also asked how a birth could be possible, since she did not yet know Joseph. After the explanation, note how she accepts her calling and accepts the news. Also, Mary was called blessed by the angel.
I wanted to share this background information about Joseph and Mary in order that I could share something a friend read to me yesterday. It’s a story from an unknown author* about a dream. Here is the story about the dream that Mary had, as she told it to her husband, Joseph. Mary said,
“I had a dream, Joseph. I don't understand it, not really, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. I think that was what it was all about. The people had been preparing for it for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought new clothes.
They had gone shopping many times and bought elaborate gifts. It was peculiar, though, because the presents were not for our Son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree.
Yes, a tree, Joseph, right in their house! They had decorated the tree also. The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. There was a figure on top of the tree. It looked like an angel might look. Oh, it was beautiful.
Everyone was laughing and happy. They were all excited about the gifts. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don't think they even knew Him. They never mentioned His name. Doesn't it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate Someone's birthday if they don't know Him?
I have the strangest feeling that if our Son had gone to the celebration, He would have been intruding. Everything was so beautiful, Joseph, and everyone so full of cheer, but it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus, not to be wanted at His own birthday celebration.
I'm glad it was only a dream. How terrible, Joseph, if it had been real.”
Think about Mary’s dream. When you celebrate Jesus’ birthday, don’t forget to invite and honor Him! And have a Merry Christmas.
*Devotional message compiled by Jim Huber, with commentary from “Mary’s Dream”, author unknown.