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17. Mary, mother of Jesus
17-1 Mary: Our Representative || 17-2 Mary’s Character: 17-2-1 The Loneliness Of Mary || 17-2-2 The Spiritual Ambition Of Mary || 17-2-3 Hannah And Mary || 17-2-4 A Bible Mind: Mary And The Magnificat || 17-2-5 The Faith Of Mary || 17-2-6 Mary And The Virgin Of Isaiah 7 || 17-2-7 The Humility Of Mary || 17-3 Mary In Crisis: 17-3-1 Mary’s Crisis Of Faith || 17-3-2 Mary And Jesus In The Temple || 17-3-3 Mary At Cana || 17-3-4 Mary And Her Other Children || 17-3-5 Mary In Mid-Life Crisis || 17-3-6 The Jesus-Mary Relationship || 17-4 Mary’s Victory: 17-4-1 Mary At The Cross || 17-4-2 The Influence Of Mary || 17-4-3 The Psychological Matrix Of Jesus

17-3-6 The Jesus-Mary Relationship

The Influence Of Mary

There must have been certain similarities of personality type between the Lord and His mother. Thus in Lk. 2:33 Mary “marvelled”, and the same word is used about Jesus in Mt. 8:10 and Mk. 6:6. The Lord at 12 years old displayed such piercing knowledge and spirituality, but it seems He returned to Nazareth and suppressed the expression of it (Lk. 2:51). This is why the villagers were so amazed when He stood up in the Nazareth synagogue and on the basis of OT exposition, indirectly declared Himself the Messiah. He must have stored up so much knowledge and spirituality within Him, but hid it from the eyes of men. This was quite an achievement- to be perfect, and yet not to be noticed as somehow other-worldly. There is  tendency, it seems to me, for brethren particularly to insist on flaunting their knowledge, to have to correct others who have inferior knowledge or less mature interpretations (I do not refer to matters of the basic Gospel). The Lord taught men the word “as they were able to hear it” (Mk. 4:33), not as He was able to expound it. If we ask where He obtained this humility and ability from, it is clearly an inheritance from His dear mother, who stored up things in her heart and didn’t reveal them to others, just quietly meditating over the years. Both of them must have heard so much that was wrong and immature over the years; but they said nothing, in the Lord’s case, biding His time. It has been observed that it was unusual for the villagers to describe Jesus as “the son of Mary” (Mk. 6:3)- even if Joseph were dead, He would have been known as Jesus-ben-Joseph. It could well be that this was a reflection of their perception of how closely linked Jesus was to His mother.  

The influence of Mary upon Jesus is reflected in His many allusions to her words, both conscious and unconscious.  

Unconscious Allusions Of Jesus To Mary

Mary’s words of Lk. 1:47 “my spirit hath rejoiced” are alluded to by Jesus unconsciously in Lk. 10:21 [the only time the Greek phrase " spirit...rejoices” is used]. " In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit" and thanked God that the humble not the wise had been chosen- showing exactly the spirit of Mary's words of Lk.  1:52,53, the words she had probably sung to Him around the house as a child. Unconsciously [?] Jesus was alluding to Mary His mother's attitude. Such was the Jesus-Mary relationship. Luke brings this out in his record in the connections he makes. Mary had an influence even on the Son of God- quite some encouragement to all parents and those who spend time with children as to the influence they have.  

The Lord had called His mother “Woman…” in Cana. She had also said and later sung to Him perhaps: “Be it unto me according to thy word” (Lk. 1:38). In Mt. 15:28 we have the Lord addressing the Canaanite woman: “Woman….be it unto thee even as thou wilt”. That woman restimulated memories of His dear mother. 

Conscious Allusions Of Jesus To Mary

When the Lord spoke of the Son of man having nowhere to lay His head (Lk. 9:58), He surely had His mind upon how His dear mother had told Him that when He was born, there was no place to lay Him, and His dear head had to be laid in an animal’s feeding trough.  

Mary’s praise that “He hath done to me great things” is surely behind her Son’s words in Lk. 8:39, where He bids a man go home " and shew how great things God hath done unto thee" . 

Mary had felt that God had “Filled the hungry [i.e. their stomach, cp. the womb of Mary] with the good thing [Gk.]”- Jesus (Lk. 1:53). He calls Himself this good thing, using the very same Greek word in Mt. 20:15: " I am the good one" ; Jn. 1:46; 7:12 [where the " good thing" is Messiah]. Her perception of Him became His. And so with us; if we perceive our children as future brethren, so, hopefully and prayerfully, they will be. Jesus could have sinned; He could have failed. But Mary right from His babyhood believed that He wouldn’t. She believed in Him and in His succesful completion of His destiny from when she first conceived Him. And surely this is a pattern for Christian mothers too. Notice how some of the Lord’s very first words on opening His ministry were “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled”. It’s as if He stands up there before the hushed crowd and lays down His manifesto with those words. This was the keynote of what He had to say to humanity. He was saying ‘This, guys, is what I essentially and most fundamentally seek to inspire in you’. And He saw His dear mother as the epitome of the converts He was seeking to make. I lay great store on this allusion. For it makes her truly our pattern.