“…but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart” (Luke 2:51).
The mother in this scripture is Mary, and the scenario is when she couldn’t find Jesus after three days. Jesus was 12 years old at the time, a young boy whom she found in the temple speaking with doctors. He astonished these educated men with his questions, and scripture points out that Mary kept these sayings in her heart.
This wasn’t the first time that the phrase “Mary kept the sayings in her heart” is mentioned in the scriptures. It is also mentioned in Luke 2:19: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
The setting of this scripture is when she had given birth and the shepherds had just been given the message in Luke 2, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
The shepherds told everyone what they had seen. They were amazed, but the scripture says Mary pondered these things in her heart.
The angel Gabriel came to her and explained how she would conceive and bring forth a baby named Jesus in Luke 1. As the scripture explains, she was very perplexed at first, but she accepted what was told to her by saying, in verse 38: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.“
From that moment until the time of Jesus’s birth and his time in the temple, Mary had been processing what she was told by the angel.
I love how the scripture points out she pondered these things in her heart. The Latin root of “ponder” comes from “ponderare,” which literally means to weigh, and “pondus,” which means weight. Mary carried the weight of being chosen to be the mother of Jesus. She was a remarkable mother to our Lord and was highly favored to fulfill the role.
At this time of the year, one of my favorite songs is “Mary Did You Know.” It raises questions about whether Mary thought about the weight of her role as a mother as she watched Jesus grow, perform miracles, and become the great I Am to deliver sons and daughters like you and me.
As I reflect on Christ’s birth and the plan of salvation, I marvel at the story. It is no wonder that Mary pondered these things in her heart. She was chosen to be an extraordinary mother to an extraordinary child. Something to ponder and keep in my heart.
Listen to the song Mary Did You Know, performed by Pentatonix.