Matthew 1:18 NLT
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let's take a look at the context of this verse. In those days, marriage was a three part ritual. The first part was the signed contract made between the man and woman and her parents. From that point on, the couple were considered legally married. The second part was the consummation of the marriage. The final part was the feast where family and friends welcomed them as a couple into their community.
Mary and Joseph had just concluded the first part of the ritual. But, before the consummation took place, Mary became pregnant. Mary, a virgin, was not impregnated by a man but conceived the Son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Mary was a wonderful mother, but her journey was not without pain. As Simon had prophesied to her when she and Joseph dedicated Jesus at the Temple, her own heart would be pierced with a sword. Her baby polarized a nation from the start. After his birth, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus narrowly escaped certain death by King Herod and were forced to live in hiding for a time in Egypt. When Jesus entered ministry, Mary must have been in awe as He performed amazing miracles. In contrast, she was also keenly aware of the deplorable contempt the pharisees and teachers of the law had towards her Son. Mary witnessed Jesus cruelly crucified and His scarred dead body buried in a tomb. But, three days later she also rejoiced at Jesus’ glorious resurrection!
Did Mary understand all the joys and trials that motherhood would bring? Did Mary understand that the salvation of the world depended upon her submission to God? Certainly not! She just trusted and believed God’s words concerning His plan for her life. By selflessly allowing God to fulfill her destiny, our destiny became fulfilled. But the rewards were great! All Mary’s life, she never forgot how God took notice of His lowly servant girl. Every generation calls her blessed and highly favored of the Lord!
That's what mother means in this verse.
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