as told by Brie

Hello everyone; Brie here.

You may have read some of the other stories on this website about people from the Bible. There are also some stories about Jesus' friends; people who knew him well. But I'd like to tell you about someone who knew Jesus, probably better than anyone. Her name was Mary and she was his mother.

Mary was quite young when she found out she was pregnant. She hadn't planned to have a baby at that point - I'm sure she thought it would happen one day, but after she and Joseph were married.

But one day, an angel appeared to her. Now Mary wasn't really frightened to see the angel; she felt honoured, but not afraid. Mary had never seen one before, but she did believe in God, and knew that he had sometimes sent angels to talk to people and give them messages. So the angel didn't trouble her - but what he said, did. He told Mary not to be afraid, but she was soon going to find out that she was expecting a baby. Mary didn't understand - God knew that she and Joseph weren't married yet. But the angel said that this baby was from God, in fact he would be known as the Son of God, and that he had an important job to do. As I said, Mary believed in God, and she knew that he could ask people to do unexpected, and sometimes difficult, things - but she also knew that when he did, he was always with them, helping them. So she told the angel that she agreed and was willing for this to happen.

And in time, it did. Mary gave birth to a baby boy with Joseph, who had also had a visit from an angel and knew all about it, at her side. It was quite hard, and was made more difficult because they had had to travel to Bethlehem, couldn't find anywhere to stay and ended up in someone's stable. I think Mary did wonder, for a few moments, why God had let that happen. But after the baby, who they named Jesus, was born, Mary and Joseph were so happy they forgot about all that. And so they began the difficult job of bringing up this special baby from God.

A few days after he was born, Mary and Joseph went to the temple to have him circumcised, as their law said they should. In the temple, they met two people; a holy man called Simeon, who loved God deeply, and a woman called Anna who actually lived in the temple. Both of these people told Mary and Joseph that their baby was a special child from God who had a special job to do. This was, of course, what the angel had said to both of them before Jesus was born. It must have been quite special, and even overwhelming, to be told this; what a responsibility they had. It sounds as though Mary and Joseph were left in no doubt, right from the beginning, that their little boy would be different.

Yet surprisingly, 12 years later, it seemed they had almost forgotten this.

They had taken Jesus to the temple to celebrate a festival. The temple was a large place and very busy. Mary, Joseph and Jesus had travelled there as part of a group and, when it was time for the group to go home, Mary and Joseph both thought that Jesus was  in the group, talking to his friends. So they started the long walk home. It wasn't until it got dark and the group stopped for the night, that Mary went to find Joseph and Jesus. But Joseph was on his way to find Mary - and neither of them had Jesus with them. They were so worried, they could hardly sleep that night. And as soon as it was morning, they left the rest of the group and practically ran back to Jerusalem to look for him. Eventually, much to their relief, they found him. He was sitting in the temple; not only listening to the teachers, he seemed to be actually teaching them. Mary was amazed to see him there, and rather cross because she thought he had treated them badly. But Jesus reminded her, and Joseph, that they were told right at the beginning that he would be called the Son of God. God was his father, and so it was only natural that he would want to be in God's house.

Well, I think they probably felt rather humbled by that. It was true, they had both known that their child would be from God; his Son, but they had forgotten it over the previous 12 years. Jesus knew who he was, though. But even so, he still went back to Nazareth with them and continued to live with them and his family. 

When Jesus did leave home, about 18 years later, things were rather different for Mary. They had had three or four other children, and then Joseph had died. Mary still took an interest in what Jesus was doing, even though she still didn't fully understand what the special job was that he had to do for God. She didn't always understand the things that Jesus did, either. He was very popular, helped a lot of people and taught them about God. But he also seemed to get himself into trouble with the people who were the religious leaders. They thought that they should know more about God than anyone else, and were irritated by Jesus. Until one heartbreaking day, Mary stood on a hill, underneath a cross on which Jesus was hanging.

How had it come to this?

Should she have done more to help Jesus? Should she have gone to these religious leaders and told them what the angel had said to her all those years before? Did they realise that they, were killing God's chosen man? They were the religious leaders; surely they must have known.

Mary was standing at the cross with a disciple called John who had been told to look after her. Almost the last words that Jesus said were, "John, look after my mother." At the end, Jesus remembered her and made sure he was looked after. 

Mary was terribly sad that day, and even for a few days afterwards. But then she began to hear news that Jesus was alive again, and I think that was when she - and everyone else - finally began to understand what Jesus had come to do and who he truly was.

Mary stayed with Jesus' friends for some time. They all used to gather together, after the resurrection, in an upstairs room; praying, and waiting to see what would happen next. What did happen was that God came to them again and gave them all a special job to do for him - which was telling people about Jesus.

Mary must have felt so happy, and so proud, to be able to talk to others about all the things that her son had said, and done. 

Mary had a very special job to do for God. It was also a very difficult one, but she was willing to do it and always knew that God was with her, helping her.

Sometimes we might think that we can never be as important to God as Mary, Peter, Moses or Noah were. But God wants us to know loves each of us just as much as he loved them, and he wants us to love, and serve, him just as they did.