Did Mary experience labor pain during the birth of Jesus?

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Mary – the mother of Jesus

Mary was highly favored of the Lord and blessed among women. When the angel of God appeared to her, he said, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28, 42). From the first promise of a Savior, who was to be of the “seed” of the woman (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:5), godly mothers in Israel hoped that their first-born might be the promised Messiah. To Mary, this significance and special honor was given.

Mary was without a doubt chosen mainly because at the appointed time (Daniel 9:24–27; Mark 1:15; Galatians 4:4) her character more closely mirrored the divine principles of motherhood than that of any other women in Israel. She was one of the chosen few who were “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25, 38; Mark 15:43; Hebrews 9:28). It was this hope that cleansed her life (1 John 3:3) and equipped her for her special role.

The angel bestowed upon Mary nothing more than is available to all believers. This is shown from the use of the same Greek word in Ephesians 1:6, where Paul states that “he [the Father] hath made us accepted” (literally, “he endowed us with grace”) in Christ.

Labor pain

The Bible says that Mary brought forth her first-born child (Luke 2:7), this is to say that she gave birth to Jesus. Labor pains is a natural process while giving birth, and this was not an exception with Mary. There is no indication from the Bible that Mary would have been excluded from this, hence we can conclude that she did have pain during the birth of Jesus.

The process of giving birth has been associated with pain since the beginning of time. After sin, the Lord declared to the woman: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children….” (Genesis 3:16). Mary was a woman and therefore the declaration, that God made to Eve after sin entered the world, applies to all women.

More pain at the crucifixion

Mary was even warned that she would continue to experience pain throughout the life time of Jesus. After she and Joseph dedicated Jesus at the temple, the Holy Spirit inspired Simeon to tell her “And a sword will pierce your very soul” (Luke 2:35). This was a prediction to the sorrow that would pierce Mary’s heart at the cross (John 19:25). This was the first New Testament mention of pain foreshadowing the passion of Christ which reflects the prophecies of Isaiah 52:14; 53:12. Furthermore, the fact that Simeon’s declaration was addressed to Mary seems to imply that Joseph would not witness the scene on Calvary.

Mary, like most of Israel at the time, believed that the Messiah would set up an earthly kingdom. The fact that Jesus came to save people from their sins was not fully understood by any of Christ’s followers until after His resurrection. Therefore, Mary had great pain and sorrow when Jesus died on the cross. But she gladly shared in the joy of His resurrection as all else did.  Thus, Mary was not spared the pain of motherhood and womanhood.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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