And, behold, thou (Mary) shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)
DID MARY WRITE IT ALL DOWN so she wouldn’t forget it? Probably not. Mary was already Bible-informed from her Jewish home background, her few trips to the Temple, and her many meetings at the local synagogue.
MARY WAS YOUNG, perhaps not over 15. But at that age, she knew some of the writings of Moses and other prophets. What the angel told her was a reminder of the Old Testament scriptures she already knew. The message was probably not new to her. It was new to her that…SHE… was to be the earthly mother of this King of Israel.
WE TEND TO FORGET that when Jesus was born, the total Bible consisted of what we call “The Old Testament.” But they didn’t call it the “Old Testament.” They just called it “the Scriptures.” There were no Christians. There was no New Testament. After Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, it would be another 30 years before the New Testament would begin to be written; perhaps the book of James. If we want to know how Mary thought and how the early Christians thought, we’ll have to become familiar with the Old Testament.
WHEN JESUS SOUGHT TO TEACH HIS DISCIPLES about Himself, He said: And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27 The Old Testament speaks of the coming Christ through plain statements by Isaiah and other prophets. It also speaks of the coming Christ through “types and shadows” and figures of speech?
HE WAS ALSO PORTRAYED BY THE LIVES of certain people, such as Joseph, who was sold for pieces of silver and no evil was ever charged against him. Mary may not have known of all those things. But she surely knew about the Jewish scriptures pertaining to Christ and “the son of David.” We would do well to study Mary’s Bible if we would know the whole counsel of God.
READING THE BIBLE REGULARLY provides a helpful background in memorizing. We have more Bible than Mary had. From our Bible reading, words and phrases “stick” to our memory and we don’t even know it at the time. Some phrases recur repeatedly, and we memorize some of them without trying. Reading the Bible regularly is more important than memorizing. We don’t have to choose between reading and memorizing because hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating are all Bible-related methods of taking in the Word of God.
HIDING THE WORD OF GOD IN OUR HEARTS is the same thing as memorizing except it goes further than the brain. Hiding the word of God in our hearts includes embracing the truth as a part of our being. Merely memorizing words does not go that far and is inferior to hiding the Word in our hearts. It is evident that Mary knew exactly what the angel was talking about except she didn’t know how it was going to be done.
Read Through the Bible in a Year
DECEMBER 16, 2019 - MONDAY
A.M. Amos 7-9 P.M. Revelation 7
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14)
Song for Today:
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem (3:41) (Ben Speers/Gaither)