Christmas devotional: Humility
I just want to consider one other aspect of Mary, that is her humility. You know, if you’d discovered that you were going to be the mother of the Messiah, the One who’s going to rule all nations, there could be a tendency to feel you’re a little bit more important than other people. But that was not Mary’s response. I so much appreciate her humility. And remember that she was born into Israel when Israel was under the Law of Moses and she was obliged as an Israelite to observe the Law of Moses and it says in Luke 2:22:
Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they [that’s Joseph and Mary] brought Him [Jesus] to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
So Mary did not take the attitude, “Well now, God has bestowed a special favor upon me; He doesn’t expect obedience of me. I can get away with things other people couldn’t get away with.” You see, I’ve seen this happen in the lives of people. I’ve preached sometimes on testing, which is a part of the Christian life.
Now I want to turn to the Law of Moses which speaks about what Mary did, in Leviticus chapter 12.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean [ceremonial unclean] seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. She shall then continue in the blood of her purification [in this ceremonial purification] thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.’”
So even when Mary brought forth Jesus she observed this law. For forty days she wouldn’t touch anything that was hallowed of sacred. She couldn’t go into the temple. She was excluded. And then, what appeals to me is the offering that she brought, because you go back to Luke chapter 2. “To offer sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” But if you go back to Leviticus chapter 12 it says in verse 6,
“‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as burn offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting.’”
It’s very important for us to understand that Mary was a sinner contrary to what many people proclaim today. She had to bring her sin offering. But what impresses me is, they didn’t have enough money to bring a lamb, so all they could bring was two turtledoves. So they were a poor family. And you know what it says about Jesus? Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor. That blesses me to see the humility and the lowly estate of Mary. And I ask people, What is the hardest test? People can give you various answers. My answer is the hardest test is success, and few people pass it.
'Father God, Your name are exalted above any other name. Yours is the glory and honor. Forgive me for my pride, deep inside. I acknowlegde I am nothing without You. Everything I have, I owe to you. Every breath I take, You have given me. So often I simply forget to seek your guidance and help. But I want to walk in your ways, humble and obedient, as a dearly loved child.'
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