Do women matter to the Kingdom of GOD? Lesson 1

This is a 6 week study and through these 6 weeks we will look at the lives of Mary, Martha, Mary Magdalene and others. We will learn from their faith and failures. And we will be reminded that Jesus cared for and valued the woman he was surrounded by. He equipped them, listened to them, walked with them, healed them and empowered them. And he does the same for us today.

Read Luke 1:26-38

Jesus came to earth through a young woman named Mary, Mary’s future, her reputation, her fiancé, her entire life is hanging in the balance when she finds out she is pregnant out of marriage. She has no control over what is about to happen, she knows this is going to be costly and hard, she is facing a great amount of judgment and even getting stoned, this is beyond her understanding, and she cannot control the outcome.

And I love her response, instead of crying, feeling sorry for herself, worrying about what might is going to happen she says in Luke 1:38 “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord: Let it be according to your word” I don’t think there is a greater response then “Let it be, as you say” 

We cannot control our circumstances, the season of life we are in, whether we are going through a divorce, a child who is sick, infertility, a job we hate, friends or family turning their backs on you, there are so many situations we might think we can control but we really cannot and what greater response can we give then “Let it be, as you say”

Mary showed a great act of faith, she surrendered herself unto Jesus.

Mary immediately went to go and visit Elizabeth, who was experiencing a miraculous pregnancy herself and they celebrated together.

Who is someone in your life you can count on to celebrate with? When have you celebrated GOD’s goodness with that person?

Mary knew GOD’S word, she absorbed them, she lived in his words, she trusted his words. She knew the love of GOD and she trusted GOD. She also knew who to go to for support, she had this community of support.

How well do you know scriptures? If you are in a difficult situation, do you know what GOD tells you, do you have that relationship with GOD that you can come before Him and ask Him for help, have you surrendered your life to Jesus? Do you know him as a Father, as a friend, do you know him as your Lord and Savior?

Now I want us to move on to John 2:1-11 The wedding in Cana

So, a lot of times when we read these verses, oftentimes we focus on the fact that Jesus turned water into wine. But today I want us to look at it from a little different angle. 

I want to look at how Mary acted in this scenario, what can we learn from Mary?

Mary encountered a shortage in the wine, and she didn’t want the host to be embarrassed so she thinks what can I do to help and immediately she thinks I got to go to Jesus. But while reading this it is kind of cool she went to Jesus because as far as we know this was Jesus first miracle so what made Mary think I can go to Jesus and Jesus will know what to do, but she did. 

So first we are going to look at Mary’s strength and her character. First of all, Mary had a lot of faith, Mary knew and trusted Jesus’ abilities to make all things right. She was probably the only person at the party who knew someone at the party that could fix this problem.  Because if you have water and you don’t have wine, how are you going to make water to be wine?

Mary went directly to Jesus, and she asked him boldly, and asked him directly to help. And we can learn a lot from that. Do we see a problem, and think you know what I don’t know what to do, but let’s ask Jesus because he does, so I am just going to go to him. I don’t know what he is going to do but I am just going to ask and just lay it at his feet.

Not only did Mary have faith, she also knew how to take action. If you look at Mary’s attitude it is such a great example on how we can take action for others.

So Mary had faith, she knew how to take action and she had confidence and confidence is one of those things that is really hard for us to have sometimes. And this confidence Mary had was not necessarily a self-confidence, it is a confidence she had in GOD, it is a confidence bigger than yourself.

Listen to what Mary says to the servant in John 2:5 she says “Do what he says” and she told the servant this because she trusted that Jesus was going to act.

And another thing we can learn from Mary is that she was other centered, and you might think what that means to be other centered. Well, it is really simple, it is the opposite of self-centered.

Now this week I want you to really think about this “Are you other centered or are you self-centered?”

Because none of this would have really happened if Mary wasn’t concerned about others. Mary was so concerned about others, that she didn’t just ask Jesus to make more wine because she was like man I want more wine, but she did it because she didn’t want the host of the wedding party to be embarrassed. She desired for this wedding to be a success.

So she saw a problem and she privately went to Jesus to fix it, before the guest would find out, so the host would not be embarrassed. See if we are self centered, oftentimes we don’t see the problems others have, and sometimes we don’t even care that others have problems or will be embarrassed because we are too focused on ourselves and our own problems.

So, a couple questions to make you think this week:

  • Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Mary had an actual relationship with Jesus, she was his mom, she raised him, she knew him. Before she requested something she had a relationship with Jesus. Mary did not ask Jesus something that was out of his character and I think that is why it is so important to know Jesus. We don’t ask a plumber to bake a cake, we need to know his character before we ask him something.
  • Are you going to Jesus just when you have a problem or do you have a day to day walk with the Lord. Is he included in your life, have you surrendered to him and give him control of your life? Do you seek him, do you read his words to get to know him and to build that relationship?
  • Are you self-centered or other centered? We live in a world where selfies are a big thing, and how to build up ourselves and how we look, the higher your status the better. We life in a very self-centered world.
  • See the opposite of love is not hate – the opposite of love is selfishness. Because when we become so focused on ourselves, we don’t see the needs of others around us. And then we are not able to fulfill one of the greatest commandments to love one another, how are you going to love one another if we are so focused on ourselves that we don’t even see one another.

Mary had faith, she had strength and trust, she was other centered, and she also took action. Just think what if Mary would have said “No” when the angel of the Lord came to her, telling her she was going to give birth to our savior. What if she said “ Lord I am sorry my anxiety cannot handle that, no Lord, I cannot do that, I am too scared, I am not comfortable doing that, I will pass” Just think what if she had said all those things.

What if you miss out on being used by GOD to save someone’s soul just because it was scared to reach out. We can only be used by GOD if we know him, if we don’t know him, if we don’t know his word, yes it is even more scary to reach out, we need to build that relationship with him, don’t miss out on being a blessing because you are scared, or anxiety gets in the way, or it is physically hard, or you just don’t feel like it, you might think let someone else do that.

So this week get to know Jesus more, get to know who GOD is, get to know what he can do, don’t be afraid to ask him for help, but also don’t be afraid to take action and spread GOD’s word with others. Surrender under him and let him use you, like he used Mary


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