Friday, December 19, 2008

Luke 2:19

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Today I want to look at one simple phrase found in Luke 2:19 – “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I had always been curious about that statement… why was it included? What is the significance of her “pondering them in her heart”? What does this tell us about Mary?
There’s no earth-shattering answer to those questions, but different commentaries about this verse did point out some interesting observations I’d like to share.

First, in McGarvey and Pendleton’s commentary, it is pointed out that “the silence of Mary contrasts with the talkativeness of the shepherds. But it is the duty of Christians both to ponder and to publish.” This commentary also notes an interesting thing that is that only Mary could have known the fact stated here (that she pondered these things in her heart) – therefore, the statement indicates that Luke got these parts of his gospel from Mary herself.

Mary had much to think about. “The angelic messages to Zacharias, to herself, and to the shepherds were full of significance, and her mind would search diligently to comprehend the fullness of their meaning.” It was pointed out that she said nothing of these things to others, “lest she should be thought an enthusiast, or a vain boaster; and therefore left things, till time should make a discovery of them in a proper way, and in the best season.” One commentator said that “in her quiet thoughtfulness the beauty of the virgin’s character shines forth.”

Another point drawn out was the fact that Mary’s name was most likely quite “smeared” at that time… living in a small town and showing to be pregnant before she was allowed to be with Joseph, there’s no doubt that people talked and gossiped about this. And yet she “silently left it to God to clear up her virtue, when that was suspected, so she silently leaves it to him to publish her honour, now when it was veiled; and it is satisfaction enough to find that, if no one else takes notice of the birth of her child, angels do.”
Matthew Henry also notes a point of application to be found in this, which is that “the truths of Christ are worth keeping; and the way to keep them safe is to ponder them. Meditation is the best help to memory.”

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