Mothers, think back to what it was like when you gave birth to your firstborn child – the fears, the insecurities, the feelings of inadequacy.
Now imagine that when you did give birth, it was not in the clinical cleanliness of a hospital room or birthing center.
Imagine you were in a cave, dark and alone, unsanitary to the extreme, no nurse, doctor, or midwife to help you, and you are all of 13 or 15 years old, in what was essentially a foreign country, away from your family, with only your fiancé to help you.
Add to all of that the political climate of the world Mary was living in – a world of crushing oppression fueled by a brutal and barbaric military occupation.
Furthermore, if we discover nothing else from the birth narratives in both Matthew and Luke, we at least learn this: There are some people in this world who are without a doubt the very incarnation of evil.
Such was the power of Rome, and so was the person of Herod.
From this point on in all four Gospels, every miracle that Jesus performs, every lesson that Jesus teaches, every person whom Jesus meets, every action that Jesus completes will all be done under the watchful and wary eyes of Rome, the imperial power to whom Herod had sold his soul.
With that in mind, can we even begin to imagine the world into which Mary gave birth to her son?
You will learn so much more about that world as you listen to this podcast.
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