By Diana Wallis Taylor
Mary is a common name, but the most important person named Mary, was the mother of Jesus. What was there about this young girl from a simple village called Nazareth that made the God of the Universe choose her to bring His son into the world? The Scriptures say that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. God saw Mary’s heart. Since there is no time with Him, he could look ahead into the future and know what an extraordinary and faithful mother she would be. He knew Joseph also, and that he would be the earthly father Jesus needed. There were many conflicting stories of Mary as to what happened to her since she basically disappears from the Scriptures after Pentecost. I felt she remained in Jerusalem to minister love and hope to the women who received Christ as their Savior.
The idea that she had children after Jesus is clear in the Scriptures. The oldest brother of Jesus’ was James, who wrote one of the books of the Bible. He also became a leader of the new church forming in Jerusalem. Jude, the youngest brother of Jesus, also wrote one of the books of the Bible. As I perused each passage written about Mary, little by little I felt I came to know her. What inner strength she had. What faith in her God. A faith that bore her through the disapproval of neighbors and the gossip surrounding her pregnancy; the long journey to Bethlehem and the birth of her firstborn son, not at home with her family, but in a stable, with only Joseph to help her. Then there was the trek into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod and finally freedom to return to her hometown. She stood strong through the often-misunderstood ministry of her son, and staunchly faced her own family’s unbelief.
As I read, it dawned on me that Mary did not know about the resurrection. When he rode into Jerusalem in triumph on Palm Sunday, could she not have felt he was fulfilling the promise of the angel long ago, that he would save his people from their sins and take the throne of David? I felt her agony of spirit as he was dying an agonizing death on a Roman cross. Then I experienced the joy of Mary’s heart, when on Sunday He rose from the dead and not only Mary but his brothers and family finally understood. He was her firstborn son, but now he was her Lord. In scene after scene, as I followed Mary in the Scriptures, I felt the Lord opening my eyes to the extraordinary person she was. Had I lived back in Nazareth in Biblical times, I feel Mary would have been a friend.
Diana Wallis Taylor is an award-winning author of ten novels, a book on Halloween, an Easter Cantata, and has been featured in various compilation books, magazines and Christian newspapers. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages. She and her husband live in San Diego, California.