It is necessary sometimes to place ourselves in the shoes of others in order to appreciate what they went through. So we can put ourselves in the shoes of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and ask what was his birth like for her?
Mary was given a great privilege, to be the mother of the Messiah. This had been the longing down the centuries of every married Jewess who could give birth. Out of all the millions of mothers, Mary was given the amazing privilege of being the mother of the promised Saviour. She knew that it was a privilege as we can see from her words of praise in Luke 1:46-55.
Moreover, she was the recipient of a great miracle in that she was a virgin when she conceived and when she gave birth. We have no way of explaining how this happened, except to say that God performed a miracle when Jesus was conceived. All we are told by Luke is that the Holy Spirit was involved: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). Of course, the miracle was also a fulfilment of prophecy (Isa. 7:14).
Yet she contributed to his humanity, even although she was sinful and he was sinless. Did he look like her? In one of his books, D. M. McIntyre mentions a tradition that said Jesus had his mother’s eyes. Every other mother in some way passes on a sinful nature to her children. God prevented this from happening in the case of Jesus. He was sinless at and from conception.
Mary thought about what she had been told about the child (Luke 2:19). The word that Luke uses – ‘treasured’ – tells us what she thought of the details. Her heart became a kind of bank in which she placed her valuables, and she often went there by meditation to count her spiritual assets. They were all connected to her Son and among them was what she had been told personally by the messengers of heaven about Jesus and from what she learned from the words of the shepherds. And we can imitate her and think about what was said concerning Jesus and his birth.