Mary, Mother of Jesus

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


Today one of the most common names given to girls is the Biblical name Mary, just as the Biblical name John is given to boys.

"No female has been honored as has Mary by millions of people in all the world who have named their daughters Mary. This Hebrew name has ever been popular in all countries of the Western world, and has altogether some twenty variations, the conspicuous being Maria, Miriam and Miriamme." (1)

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

The genealogy of Jesus through his step-father Joseph is recorded in the book of Matthew in chapter 1:1-17. This genealogy begins with Abraham and continues through King David. Letís look at verses 16-17: "And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. {17} So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations."

The second genealogy of Jesus Christ is recorded in Luke 3:23-38. It begins with Jesus and goes back in time through Joseph, David, Abraham to Adam.

Letís look at verse 23: "Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli" (Luke 3:23 NKJV).

Letís notice the following from the Believerís Bible Commentary: "Scholars widely believe that this is the Lordís genealogy through Mary for the following reasons:

1. The most obvious is that Josephís family line is traced in Matthewís Gospel (1:2-16).

2. In the early chapters of Lukeís Gospel, Mary is more prominent than Joseph, whereas it is the reverse in Matthew.

3. Womenís names were not commonly used among the Jews as genealogical links. This would account for the omission of Maryís name.

4. In Matthew 1:16, it distinctly states that Jacob begot Joseph. Here in Luke, it does not say that Heli begot Joseph; It says Joseph was the son of Heli. Son may mean son-in-law.

5. In the original language, the definite article (tou) in the genitive form (of the) appears before every name in the genealogy except one. That one name is Joseph. This singular exception strongly suggests that Joseph was included only because of his marriage to Mary.(2)

Announcement of the Birth of John the Baptist

The Apostle Luke records the story of the angel Gabriel appearing before Zacharias and saying: "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John" (Luke 1:13 NKJV). Letís continue in verse 24: "Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, {25} "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people" (Luke 1:24-25 NKJV).

Christ's Birth Announced to Mary

The Apostle Luke continues as he records the announcement to the Virgin Mary of the birth of Jesus: {26} "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, {27} to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. {28} And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" {29} But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. {30} Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. {31} "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. {32} "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. {33} "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." {34} Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" {35} And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. {36} "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. {37} "For with God nothing will be impossible." {38} Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26-38 NKJV).

In verse 27 the word "virgin" is mentioned which is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV) ""Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."

Why Did God Select Mary?

In Luke 1:28 Gabriel said to Mary "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" And also in verse 30: ""Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."

Gabriel addressed Mary as one who was highly favored with God. Gabriel did not worship Mary nor did he pray to her. He related to her that she had found favor with God.

Why did God find favor with Mary and select her to bear his Son in the flesh?

In the book of Deuteronomy the question is asked: "What does the LORD your God require of you?" Letís notice the answer: ""And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, {13} "and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (Deut. 10:12-13 NKJV).

Here are five qualities listed: fear the Lord, walk in all His ways, love Him, serve Him, and keep His commandments. There is no doubt that Mary had these five qualities. She was humble, she loved God, she feared Him and she was ready to serve by giving birth to Jesus, the Son of God. Keeping the commandments was a very important quality that God was looking for and he found that quality in Mary. Jesus was to live a perfect life without sin and God had to select the mother of His Son who would be diligent in teaching the commandments to Jesus and setting a right example for Him by living and keeping the commandments. (Request our free article: "What Does God Require of You?")

Mary Visits Elizabeth

Luke 1:39-45 (NKJV) "Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, {40} and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. {41} And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. {42} Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! {43} "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? {44} "For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. {45} "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."

This passage does not reveal why Mary went to visit Elizabeth, but it may have been to avoid a scandal which would have arisen when her unmarried pregnancy was discovered.

The Song of Mary

In the following passage notice how Mary exalts and magnifies God, she abases herself in humility and is willing and ready to serve God as a maidservant: "And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, {47} And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. {48} For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. {49} For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. {50} And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. {51} He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. {52} He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. {53} He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. {54} He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, {55} As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever." {56} And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house (Luke 1:46-56 NKJV).

Birth of John the Baptist

{57} Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. {58} When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her" (Luke 1:57-58 NKJV).

The Announcement to Joseph of the Birth of Jesus

Mat 1:18-25 (NKJV) "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. {19} Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. {20} But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. {21} "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." {22} So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: {23} "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." {24} Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, {25} and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS."

Letís notice how the New International Version translates verse 19: "Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly." In the N.I.V. Study Bible comments it says: "divorce her quietly" -"He would sign the necessary papers but not have her judged publicly and stoned." This is referring to Deuteronomy 22:23-24 ""If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, {24} "then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor's wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you."

This law was in effect in the days of Jesus. The Apostle John records in John 8:3-11 the story of the woman taken in the very act of adultery and the scribes and Pharisees brought her to Jesus. They did this tempting Jesus so that they could accuse him. In verse 7 Jesus said: "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." Her accusers left and Jesus told her to "go and sin no more."

If Mary had been stoned then the life of Jesus whom she carried in her womb would also have been snuffed out.

Jesus had Brothers and Sisters

Now back to the story of Joseph. An angel talked to Joseph and in Matthew 1:24 it is recorded: "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, {25} and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS."

In verse 18 it says: "before they came together" and in verse 25: "and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son."

"The teaching that Mary remained a virgin all of her life is disproved by the consummation of their marriage mentioned in this verse. Other references which indicate that Mary had children by Joseph are Matthew 12:46;13:55,56; Mark 6:3; John 7:3,5; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; and Galatians 1:19. In taking Mary as his wife, Joseph also took her Child as his adopted Son. This is how Jesus became legal heir to the throne of David." (3)

The Apostle Mark records the names of the brothers of Jesus: ""Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" (Mark 6:3 NKJV).

We can see from this verse that Jesus had four (4) brothers and at least two (2) sisters. Mary had at least seven children including Jesus.

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-14 (NKJV) "And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. {2} This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. {3} So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. {4} Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, {5} to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. {6} So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. {7} And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. {8} Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. {9} And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. {10} Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." {11}"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. {12} "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." {13} And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: {14} "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!""

Letís focus in on the shepherds in verses 8 and 9. Notice that God did not allow the angels to deliver the message about the birth of Jesus to the kings or to the priests, but to the shepherds who were on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Jesus and these shepherds also had something else in common. Later in Jesusí life, He would be identified as the Good Shepherd in John 10. See also Heb. 13:20. (Request our free article: "The Lord is My Shepherd".)

Verse 8 also gives us a clue as to when Jesus was born. Adam Clarke states in his commentary: "Shepherds abiding in the field. It was a custom among the Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts, about the Passover, and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain; during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the Passover occurred in the spring, and the first rain began early in the month of Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole of the summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the twenty-fifth of December, when no flocks were out in the fields." (4)

Jesus was probably born in the September/October time frame around the Feast of Tabernacles.

Mary Ponders These Sayings

Luke 2:15-20 (NKJV) "So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." {16} And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. {17} Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. {18} And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. {19} But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. {20} Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."

We also would ponder these things if we had an angel appear to us with a message about our child. We would even ponder it if a friend says that they have had a dream about one of our children.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

Luke 2:21-24 (NKJV) And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. {22} Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord {23} (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"), {24} and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

The law of the Lord mentioned in verse 23 is from Leviticus 12:1-8. Letís look at verses 6-8: "'When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. {7} 'Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female. {8} 'And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons; one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"" (Lev 12:6-8 NKJV).

"Ordinarily parents were supposed to bring a lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or turtledove for a sin offering. But in the case of the poor, they were permitted to bring "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" (Lev 12:6-8). The fact that Mary brought no lamb, but only two young pigeons is a reflection of the poverty into which Jesus was born." (5)

Another thought to ponder as to why a lamb was not offered is that Jesus was the future "Lamb of God" that would be slaughtered on Passover for the sins of all mankind (1 Cor. 5:7, John 1:29).

Grief Would Pierce Maryís Heart

Luke 2:25-36 (NKJV) "And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. {26} And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. {27} So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, {28} he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: {29} "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; {30} For my eyes have seen Your salvation {31} Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, {32} A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel." {33} And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. {34} Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against {35} "(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Simeon blessed Joseph and Mary and then spoke prophetically to Mary. He told Mary that "a sword will pierce through your own soul also". Simeon was predicting the grief that would flood Maryís heart when she would witness the crucifixion of her son, Jesus (John 19:25).

Wise Men from the East

Mat 2:1-12 (NKJV) "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, {2} saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." {3} When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. {4} And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. {5} So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: {6} 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'" {7} Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. {8} And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." {9} When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. {10} When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. {11} And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. {12} Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way."

The visit of the Magi is recorded only in the book of Matthew and this passage does not say how many wise men came from the east.

"Wise men originally denoted the priestly caste among the Persians and Babylonians (cf. Dan. 2:2, 48; 4:6,7;5:7)"...."It is entirely conceivable these men had made contact with Jewish exiles, or with the prophecies and influence of Daniel, and thus were in possession of O.T. prophecies regarding Messiah." (6)

Notice in verse 11 that the Magi entered into the "house" and worshiped Jesus, not Mary or Joseph. There is no information given on the length of time that it took the Magi from the time that they saw the star (or angel) and then to travel from their land (probably Persia) to Jerusalem and then on to the house where Jesus, Mary and Joseph were then living.

The Flight into Egypt

Mat 2:13-15 (NKJV) "Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." {14} When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, {15} and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."

Even as an infant, the threat of death hung over Jesus, but God provided angels to protect Him. Verse 15 reveals that even in their flight to Egypt that prophecy was being fulfilled.

Massacre of the Innocents

Mat 2:16 (NKJV) "Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men."

"Bethlehem was not a large town, and the number of the children (killed) would not exceed from twenty to thirty babies. We must not think in terms of hundreds. It is true that this does not make Herodís crime any less terrible."(6)

Jesus at age 12 Amazes Scholars

Luke 2:40-52 (NKJV) "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. {41} His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. {42} And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. {43} When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; {44} but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. {45} So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. {46} Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. {47} And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. {48} So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously." {49} And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" {50} But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. {51} Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. {52} And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."

It is hard to imagine that parents could leave a city and forget their child. This would indeed be a motherís greatest nightmare. The family probably traveled in a large caravan and they no doubt assumed that their obedient son whom they trusted was walking with others of His own age.

In verse 49 Jesus said: "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" His reply was like a sword piercing Maryís heart. At the young age of 12, Jesus knew His divine parentage which separated Him from others including His mother.

Jesus went back home to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary and was subject to them for the next eighteen years and yielded to their authority.

The Next 18 Years

"It is felt that during this period Mary lost the protection of her husband, for if he had been alive he would have been certainly mentioned in succeeding events. Joseph had been a carpenter, and on his death Jesus took over the village business. We now come to recorded incidents causing Mary to realize that Jesus had severed Himself once and for all from her control. There were to be further sword-thrusts as she understood that her illustrious Son was absolutely independent of her authority and of human relationships. For thirty years Mary had carried in her heart the secret of His birth and the prophecy of His Messianic mission. Now the moment of parting comes when Jesus leaves the home that has sheltered Him for so long. And the striking thing is that we do not read of Jesus ever returning to it. In the home Mary had made for her Son, God had been preparing Him (for thirty years) for a brief but dynamic ministry lasting just over three years. As Jesus began His public life, His first miracle gave Him the occasion for impressing His mother with the fact that she must no longer impose her will and wishes upon Him (John 2). There must have been a pang in Maryís heart the day Jesus left home for good, and another heart-wound as she encountered the lack of official recognition as His mother. Whenever He met her it seemed as if He repelled her." (8)

Jesusí First Public Miracle

John 2:1-11 (NKJV) "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. {2} Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. {3} And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." {4} Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." {5} His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." {6} Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. {7} Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. {8} And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it. {9} When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. {10} And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!" {11} This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him."

In verse 4 Jesus said: "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

"Jesus was not disrespectful when He used the term "woman," for such was the common mode of respectful address among the Hebrews. Thus, in the original the words addressed by Jesus to His mother are free from any element of disrespect or of hardness. His purpose in speaking to His mother as He did was to check any undue interference on her part of His mediatorial work."(9)

Mary was concerned about her Son

Luke 4:28-29 (NKJV) "So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, {29} and rose up and thrust Him (Jesus) out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff."

"After a double circuit of Galilee during which crowds gathered around Jesus for teaching and healing, so much so that He had little time, "to eat bread," His mother and brothers came to remonstrate (warn and plead) with Him to take care. Had not the men of Nazareth sought to throw Him over the brow of the hill? Now, anxious for His safety and fearing He would destroy Himself by His constant work and lack of food and rest, Mary and her sons "sought to speak with him, and to lay hold on him, for they said, He is beside himself" (Mark 3:21). (10)

Continuing in Mark 3:31-35 (NKJV) "Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. {32} And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You." {33} But He answered them, saying, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?" {34} And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! {35} "For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.""

"Mary receives another mild rebuke in which He (Jesus) hinted that the blessedness of Mary consisted not in being His mother, but in believing in Him and in His God-given mission and in obedience to His words." (11)

Behold Your Mother

John 19:25-27 (NKJV) "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. {26} When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" {27} Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home."

Maryís deepest sword piercing came when in agony she stood beneath the cross of Jesus and witnessed the death of the One whom she had brought into the world and helped raise in Godís way of life. She heard the blasphemies and reviling of the priests and the people and saw her son die on the cross.

"Commending Mary to John, Jesus did not address her by name, or as His mother, but as "Woman." To John He said "Thy mother" (vs. 26-27). But even then she did not desert her Son. Some of His disciples forsook Him and fled, but her love never surrendered, even though her Son was dying as a criminal between two thieves." (12)

The Last Glimpse of Mary

Acts 1:12-14 (NKJV) "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. {13} And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. {14} These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers."

The last glimpse we have of Mary is where we find her among the group of believers gathered together in the upper room. She is mentioned, not first in the list, before the apostles but last, as if she were of less significance than they. This is the last glimpse we have of Mary. Her name is not mentioned again in the rest of the New Testament.

In Conclusion: The story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a story of a righteous woman and a dedicated mother who loved her son from the moment that she received the message from Gabriel to Jesusí dying moments on the cross.

She set a beautiful example in her fear of God, walking in all His ways, loving Him, serving Him, and keeping His commandments.

The Bible says nothing about the worship of Mary. The scriptures portrays Mary as a faithful, humble and godly woman.

No woman could have received more precious words than those delivered by Gabriel when he said: "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"


Footnotes: (1): Herbert Lockyer, "All the Women of the Bible",1998, p. 92.

(2): William MacDonald "Believerís Bible Commentary",1995, p. 1379.

(3): William MacDonald "Believerís Bible Commentary",1995, p. 1206.

(4): Adam Clarke, "Adam Clarkeís Commentary on the Bible",1967, p. 857.

(5): William MacDonald "Believerís Bible Commentary",1995, p. 1375.

(6): "Wycliffe Bible Commentary",1962, p. 932.

(7): William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, The Gospel of Matthew, 1975, p. 37.

(8,9,10,11,12): Herbert Lockyer, "All the Women of the Bible",1998, p. 97-98.