The Most Remarkable Journey: Jesus Among Us
There are many journeys throughout the Bible. You could study the story of Noah and his journey in the floating boat. Abraham leaving the home he knew well to move to a foreign land. You could study Jonah’s journey from the rough seas into the belly of a whale. There is one journey, however, that tops the charts. It is the most remarkable journey of all time. This is the journey of Jesus.
As believers, it is vital to study Jesus’ journey and life because from it we learn His character, His heart, and His love for humanity. We see God in the flesh. The one whom our image bears (Genesis 1:27). We can see the person we are to emulate and worship.
Over the next six weeks, we will be studying the people that Jesus walked and talked with. We will learn how to make lessons our own by reflecting on these stories. Each lesson will have takeaways to apply to our own lives.
The Journey Begins
The first leg of the journey begins in these all so famous scenes.
First, Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel, where He assures her to not be afraid. He tells her of the child she is about to have. The Son of the Most High God will soon be her firstborn. In awe and wonder, she inquires about how this will be.
Soon after finding out that she was having a baby she was to name Immanuel, she quickly rushed off to tell her pregnant aging cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the wife of Zechariah and the soon-to-be mother of John the Baptist.
What a beautiful encounter this is. Both Elizabeth and John, who were filled with the Holy Spirit, expressed their joy as the Mother of their Lord appeared.
Mary is so overcome by this joyous meeting that she speaks the words that today we know as Mary’s Magnificant or Mary’s Song.
What I love about this song is her humility in the news that she had received. Mary knew her object of worship was not herself. What an honor to be the mother of the Most High God. Many people would use this opportunity to post this big announcement on their social media News Feed. It would be the prime real estate to promote these new connections. Not Mary Click To Tweet
Not Mary, she went to a relative. One she obviously respected and knew would help guide her and share in her joy. One that would understand, to the best of her ability the significance of this Messiah.
Mary also knew her need for a Savior. Her song begins in praising God for who He is. A right perspective of a servant of the Lord. Her obedience to this calling is exemplary of one of God’s children.
Through Mary’s praises, it is obvious that she is familiar with the scriptures that were available to her at the time. Her song echoes that of Hannah, mother of Samuel and is filled with psalms.
Her Savior is coming, and she will have the glorious opportunity to usher Him into the world.
One Couple’s Journey
The next part of the story takes us on the journey with this couple, Mary and her betrothed Joseph. Although not known by anyone except their family and the ones in their small insignificant town (John 1:46), their name will be rung throughout history.
Mary and Joseph lived in a time where the Roman Empire ruled the land. By orders of Caesar Augustus, they were to go to the hometown of their families or tribes. Since both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David, they returned to Bethlehem, the city where David was born.
They traveled through mountainous areas 70 miles to get to Bethlehem. She didn’t have any travel restrictions for this journey.
Do you ever wonder what that journey was like? I am the type of person that gets in a car to travel and all of a sudden, I have a million things to talk about. I wonder what their conversation was like. The pressures were already great in their lives.
The Jews felt like this census was one more way for the Roman Empire to oppress them. To have them accounted for so they could be taxed. I wonder if they were thinking about this or as all new parents your focus turns to this new little bundle.
I wonder if Mary, like me, was contemplating which would be harder as a new mom, the delivery or the first few days with a newborn child. Was Joseph’s top priority and thoughts, like most men, focused on protecting and supporting his growing family.
Often times I think life was so different then but at the same time, there are things that are still the same. As humans, our emotions and thoughts had to be similar.
I wonder if the donkey stepped a little lighter and was more cooperative than usual. Did Mary’s heart savor the first cries of this most precious child. I wonder how much her mommy instincts took over knowing she not only had to protect her newborn babe but the Savior of the World.
I wonder if none of that mattered in the moment because, like all newborn moms, your heart is so overwhelmed with love that life’s worries disappear as you float on cloud nine.
That First Kiss
I remember kissing my newborns all day and night, literally. I was so excited to meet them and imagine the people they would become. As we gazed into each other’s eyes, we knew, the bond was like nothing we had ever felt. Love that we never knew until that moment.
And to look into the eyes of Jesus for the first time is something we can only long for but for Mary it was her song. Her longing was bundled in her arms being quieted by the beating of her heart or the gentleness of her voice.
A journey. One we can only read and wonder about began there lying in an animals feeding trough.The King of the World began his journey is His earthen vessel 2000 years ago and we still talk about it today. This journey is the most remarkable, the most talked about, the most impactful and most debated journey known to mankind. Click To Tweet
Where Do We Go From Here
There are several things we can take away from today’s lesson –
- The benefit of being obedient even when it doesn’t make sense or seems beyond our grasp of understanding.
- Praising God for who HE is. Our life is about the worship of our King and Savior. Mary, even at a young age, knew how essential this was. Her song begins with Praise. May our songs echo her heart.
- God has a plan. He is faithful to His people and the mission of protecting them.
- It was necessary for Christ to become flesh and dwell among us. It was also necessary that He remains fully God while becoming fully human.
- Let God keep you in awe and wonder of who He is. Don’t settle for the things of this world when the decision to trust Him is eternal.
For the next 5 weeks, we are going to take this journey together. We are going to meet the people that Jesus walked and talked with as we journey through Jesus’ life here on Earth. I look forward to you joining us for this study.
I am so glad you are joining me and I hope you are encouraged by this post. If so, please consider sharing to encourage others! 🙂
This week as we celebrate the life of this newborn king we celebrate a story that has been told through the generations. A life that is both scandalous and filled with hope. A story that is not insignificant by any means my hope is that you will be moved to see Jesus for who He really was.
Please join us in the conversations below.
- Do you ever wonder about the journey that Mary and Joseph took? What do you think your conversations were like?
- If you have children, what was that first encounter like with your newborn? Besides not being in a stable, how do you think your experience was the same and how do you think it was different?
- How do you and your family celebrate the birth of Jesus?
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