“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3).
Mary’s motherhood was a gift from God – God’s favour to a humble young woman. It came with moments of joy, deep care, a sense of pride and finally with “a sword” piercing her heart – as all mothers know.
The above Bible verse gives us “a frame” of Jesus’ humanity, living on earth, among people – as the son of Mary.
Most Christians may be familiar with His theological/religious titles, ie. Son of Man; or Son of David; or Son of God.
We affirm that Jesus is God, the Son incarnate, fully divine and fully human, without confusion or separation of His natures. Yet, we rarely mention or preach about Him being “the son of Mary”.
Today’s dedication service opened the opportunity for me to attempt such a task. What do we know about Jesus as a child? Jesus himself was presented/dedicated to God (Luke 2:28-35).
Here is another story from Jesus’ childhood (Luke 2:41-52).
During one trip to Jerusalem, when he was 12yo, Jesus finds himself wandering through the Temple courts. To cut the story short, Joseph and Mary start the journey home, thinking that Jesus is with their relatives. Most likely before stopping for the night, they realize that Jesus is not there. Another day to get back to Jerusalem, so after three days they find Jesus in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions (v.46). Of course they are mad, “Son, why have you treated us so?…[we] have been searching for you in great distress” (v.48).
Luke writes about the happy ending, “…he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them…” (v.51).
What? The Son of God was “obedient” to Joseph and Mary?
Being human, means learning obedience. For all of us.
For Jesus too it meant learning “obedience”. “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered…” (Hebrews 5:8, 9).
We needed Jesus to be like us (no sin though)…fully human: to have a clear understanding of humanity and to empathize (Hebrews 4:15) with us.