Dear Christian Sisters,
Like you, I have a lot of questions for God, questions that I am not likely to know the answers to on this side of heaven.
One of those questions is: What happened when Mary told her parents that she was pregnant?
In the verses after Mary said “yes” to God, we learn that she went to Judah to visit Elizabeth.
Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-40
But it’s not like Mary just hopped in her car and drove for 2 hours to get from Nazareth to a city near Jerusalem. Back then, it was a four-day walk wrought with danger, especially for a young woman traveling alone.
And it’s not like she could stop at McDonald’s along the way. She had to prepare and pack food for her journey.
So when scripture says she went in a hurry, she didn’t go in an American hurry. But she did interrupt her wedding plans to go.
Mary and her parents had been preparing for her wedding. Certainly her parents would not have just let her go to visit their relative without explanation.
How did she tell them? Did they believe that she was going to be the mother of the Messiah?
I mean really. What do we know about Mary’s parents? Let’s think ahead to what we know about the rest of the story:
- We know that Mary visited Elizabeth for about 3 months (Luke 1:56).
- We know that Joseph took her to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-7, Matthew 2:1).
- We know that Mary and Joseph lived in Bethlehem for about 2 years (Matthew 2:7, 16).
- We know that Mary and Joseph lived in Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14).
- We know that Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth (Matthew 2:23, Luke 2:39).
Mary and Joseph are away from Nazareth for over 2 years, so we know that Mary did not hurry home to show her beautiful baby to her parents.
Even after returning from Egypt, the couple planned to live in Bethlehem. They only returned to Nazareth because Joseph had another dream:
But he heard that Archelaus was now king in Judea. Archelaus became king when his father Herod died. So Joseph was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he went away to the area of Galilee. He went to a town called Nazareth and lived there. This gave full meaning to what God said through the prophets. God said the Messiah would be called a Nazarene.
Because Mary does not tell us about her parents, I think that Mary’s parents did not believe that her baby was the Messiah.
Because we know that people thought Jesus was borne of fornication (John 8:41), I think that Mary’s parents were ashamed.
Now, we don’t know if Mary reconciled with her parents. She may have. But we do know that her parents missed out on at least the first two years of Jesus’ life.
And I bet He was an adorable baby!
Can you imagine the regret her parents had when they went to heaven and discovered that they said “no” to Jesus?
What about you? If your teenager were to come home with a baby, how would you react? Would you miss out on the first two years of your grandchild’s life? When you get to heaven, would you have regrets?