The life we imagine with Christ is often very different from the reality of our lives lived with Christ

Why Have You Done This to Us?

Women Impacted by Jesus – part 4

We are traveling together through the gospel of Luke, reflecting on women who received “more” through the life-transforming work of Jesus. We began with Elizabeth, then Mary, then Anna.

This month we return to Mary. Our first look occurred before the birth of Jesus. Mary was a young woman who found herself stunned by what the Lord had planned for her. After an angelic encounter which revealed she had been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38 NIV)

Let’s fast-forward through the next twelve years of Mary’s life. After enduring her “being great with child” journey to Bethlehem, Mary becomes a mother. Within twenty-four hours of Jesus’ birth, she welcomes shepherds into the experience. Eight days later, Mary listens to the prophecies of both Simeon and Anna at the temple in Jerusalem. Sometime later, in Bethlehem, she receives visitors from the East who bow down and worship Jesus, presenting their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. That same night, Mary finds herself escaping to Egypt with Joseph and their son. The young family are refugees in Egypt until King Herod dies. After that time, Mary travels back to Israel, to the region of Galilee, in a town called Nazareth.

Do you think Mary anticipated this set of circumstances when she uttered the words, “I am the Lord’s servant”? Who would have imagined the family of the Messiah being displaced in a foreign land for a season?

The Biblical narrative continues in Luke 2:41. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. Ah, finally, some routine! Or maybe not. Jesus is twelve years old. He stays behind in Jerusalem unbeknownst to his parents which leads to a three-day search. When they find Jesus, Mary asks, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” [Luke 2:48 NLT]

Why have you done this to us? Why?

Mary finds herself at a place where she needs answers.

The life we imagine with Christ is often very different from the reality of our lives lived with Christ. Have you ever journeyed with Jesus from “I am the Lord’s servant” and “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” to “Why?” That’s OK. Ask the honest questions. Listen for the answers.

Jesus continued to journey with his mother, Mary, after her questions. “Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” [Luke 2:51-52 NIV]

Jesus is truth. Continue to walk with him. Jesus is present. Jesus will not leave you. He will continue to journey with you, too.

Jen Vogel

Jen served as national director for Alliance Women from 2015-2023; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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