Ponder and treasure His words
Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19
16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
During Oswald Chambers’ years at the Bible Training College in London (1911-15), he often startled the students with things he said during his lectures. One young woman explained that because discussion was reserved for the following mealtime together, Chambers would frequently be bombarded with questions and objections. She recalled that Oswald would often simply smile and say, “Just leave it for now; it will come to you later.” He encouraged them to ponder the issues and allow God to reveal His truth to them.
To ponder something is to concentrate and think deeply about it. After the events leading to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, followed by the appearance of angels and the shepherds who came to see the Messiah, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). New Testament scholar W. E. Vine said that ponder means “to throw together, confer, to put one thing with another in considering circumstances” (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
Mary provides for us a wonderful example of what it means to seek the Father and His wisdom. When we struggle to understand the meaning of what is going on in our lives, we have Mary’s excellent model to recall and consider. She shows us what it means to seek wisdom and understanding from the Father.
When any of the Father’s children accept His leading in their lives as Mary did, the Father provides many things to consider. Among the foremost is to treasure and ponder His loving guidance in our hearts.
REFLECT & PRAY
It is wise to set aside time to simply reflect. The Father is speaking. It is incumbent upon us to listen and discover what he is saying to us.
Father thank You that You have given each child of the King the Holy Spirit to enhance our reflection and understanding of Your love and guidance.
Mary illustrates contemplating and examining the Father’s words and works. She hears and comprehends and then takes time to reflect. A mere cursory exposure to the Father’s word is like glancing through digital feeds. Little is accomplished, the lives retained. But when we turn it over and over in our minds, our faith grows and develops. Reflective thought opens Up the layered nuances of His words and works. Sometimes the content is deep and almost infinitely complex. It can never be completely plumbed any child of the King in this lifetime.
Mary treasured and meditated upon what she had heard. The more reflection, the more meaningful and treasured they words she heard and the experiences she had.
“She was not astonished, but filled with holy awe” . . .. “Mary would go over each detail in the words of Gabriel and of the shepherds and compare the sayings with the facts so far developed and brood over it all with a mother’s high hopes and joy” (A.T. Robertson).
The Greek word translated ponder is symballo. Symballo comes from syn – down and ballo – throw. It literally means throwing/putting together for comparison. It connotes meditatingupon something complex or difficult to make sense of it. Often when we turn it over in our minds, the Holy Spirit provides insight and understanding supernaturally. Mary repeatedly would turn around in her mind the words that she heard (UBS).
With reflection and spiritual insight, understanding and faith grow. We can go through life with a purely secular outlook. There are many life experiences that we fondly recall and value. But we haven’t taken the time to reflect upon them to derive their intended message from the Father of spiritual significance and meaning. It is through this process, that the father opens our minds to understand the Scriptures.
Luke 24:27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
This is exactly what the Holy Spirit was sent to do for each child of the King.
John 14:26 But when the Father sends the Helper as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.