This Week's Story

How does a mother love and guide a son unlike any boy she has known?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

An Ordinary and Extraordinary
Son, part three

“Mary, couldn’t you find a better place to have your baby?”

“Lilly, you are of the 21st century. Remember I lived in the first century. When Joseph and I arrived in Bethlehem, the town was jammed with people who had come to pay their taxes. The only place we could find to stay was where animals were fed. There I began having labor pains.”

“Joseph helped me as Jesus was born. He cut the little one’s navel cord. I gently washed him with water, dried him, and put salt powder on his body.”

“Why did you use salt powder?”

“I was taught that salt helps the skin be firm and prevents rashes.”

“Did you have baby clothes?”

“It is our custom to wrap newborns with thin strips of cloth that

keep their legs and arms from swinging wildly and feeling lost. For a baby to be out of its mother’s tummy can be a startling change. I wrapped Jesus snugly.”

“Where did Jesus sleep?”

“A stone manger where animal feed was placed was his resting place. Joseph put straw in it. We knew animals had slobbered in it, but it was available. The straw was clean, and Jesus was content.”

“Did you know that your baby was ordinary and extraordinary?”

“I surely did. Lilly, did you know that when I was engaged to marry Joseph an angel visited me?”

“You probably had a dream.”

“Actually, that is not what happened.The angel Gabriel came to Nazareth, my home town. He told me, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary. By the power of the Holy Spirit a little son is going to begin growing in your womb. Name him Jesus. He will be great, the son of the Highest. His kingdom shall never end.’”

“When I wondered how this could happen, Gabriel told me, ‘With God nothing is impossible.’”

“Later Joseph was visited by an angel, who gave him a similar message with added wonderful information. By that time, we knew something we had never experienced was going to happen. We believed the angelic visits were from God and that we could trust God.”

“Mary, when Jesus was growing up, did he act differently from other boys in your hometown?”

“On a visit to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, we lost Jesus.”

“How old was he?”

“Twelve.”

“That should be old enough to follow directions.”

“Lilly, I suspect he was following directions, but not ours. We spent about three days looking for him. We found him in the temple in Jerusalem. We were frantic with worry and sorrow. Jesus told us, ‘Didn’t you know that I have to be about my Father’s business?’ We did not understand him.”

“What was he doing when you found him?”

“Lilly, can you believe that he was sitting in the middle of Jewish religious teachers, listening and asking them questions? They could not grasp his understanding and answers.”

“When our family returned home, Jesus was obedient to Joseph and me. I did not forget the words he told us when we found him!”

This is Barbara Steiner with a Bible story recorded primarily in Luke 1 and 2 of the Bible.

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