M A R Y,  the mother of Jesus    

 

There are many teachings in the Christian world regarding ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’.  The most corrupt being the Roman Catholic Church.  However, what does the Word of God, The Bible say about her.  We start our study in Luke’s Gospel. 

In the year approx. 5 BC, we read in the first Chapter that the angel Gabriel is speaking to the priest Zachariah, telling him that his wife Elizabeth would have a son and tells him his name will be John (Luke 1:13).  Because Zachariah did not believe Gabriel, he was struck dumb until the birth of his son.  

In contrast, when the angel Gabriel speaks to Mary, she is initially troubled with what the angel tells her, that she too would have a son, but her reply in trust is not to disbelieve, but to ask ‘HOW’! as she is a virgin.  It is thought she was probably 12 to 14 years old.  Although that seems very young to us today, at that time in history it was quite normal.  Gabriel tells her that her son would be the Son of the Most High, and would reign over the house of David, and His name was to be Jesus, (meaning Salvation of Jehovah, or Jehovah Saviour).  (Here we begin to see something of the character of Mary, and her faith in the Living God, as it seems she did not find it difficult to be spoken to by an angel.  As a Jewish young woman she would have known the prophecies regarding the Jewish Saviour).  Gabriel tells her that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit, and that was why her son would be called the Son of God.  It is clear from Luke 1:38 that Mary rejoices in what the angel has said to her, and is filled with knowledge of the greatness of the Almighty.  Then she continues in praise: 

Luke 1:46-55 (Mary's Song) NIV

And Mary said:

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for
He that is Mighty has done great things for me—Holy is His name.
His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and His descendants forever, even as He said to our fathers". 

This song of Mary’s clearly shows her knowledge, praise and trust for the God of Israel; and her knowledge of Gen. 3:15! 

She is then told that her cousin Elizabeth was also pregnant, even though she was past child bearing age, and it had been thought she could not have children.  

Mary immediately visits Elizabeth, who on seeing her experiences the Holy Spirit filling her, and the baby in her womb leaps for joy.  This is the child's recognition of the proximity of his Christ.  Elizabeth understands and speaks to Mary telling her how Blessed she is, and that she knows she was be the mother of the Saviour.  Mary then rejoices in her Creator, who has done great things already in the world and was to perform great things in the future through the seed of Abraham (Luke 1:55), (this shows what Mary knew of the promises made to Abraham and the Jewish people).  It is clear from the above that these two women are chosen for their faith in the Almighty, and their trust in His Word. 

Mary stays with Elizabeth for 3 months, during which time she gives birth to her son, (meaning the grace of Jehovah).  Then Zachariah is filled with the Holy Spirit and is then able to speak.  He prophecies that Jehovah has kept his promise concerning the Covenant with His people Israel, and that his son, John would prepare the way for their Messiah.  This clearly shows that Zachariah understood the importance of the soon appearing of the Messiah for the Jews. 

In Matthew 1:18-25, we have more detail regarding the relationship between Mary and Joseph, and we are told that she is promised in marriage to him.  This pledge of marriage in the Jewish tradition and law could only be broken by divorce.  When Joseph discovers that Mary is pregnant, rather than expose her to public disgrace, he has in his mind to divorce her quietly.  (Under the Jewish law Deut. 22:22-24 if Mary had been exposed she should have been stoned to death).  However, an angel speaks to Joseph in a dream and explains the true situation.  As Joseph was of the Royal line of King David, one wonders if he was aware of his own lineage, and the importance of Jesus being of the Royal line through King David's son Solomon.  Also the fact that Jesus would inherit the human line from David's son Nathan through Mary.  (Both from Adam, as Jesus had to be the second Adam).

See: Genealogies of Jesus Christ       

Luke 2 records that Caesar Augustus had ordered all should be registered for tax in their own towns.  Joseph had to journey to Bethlehem in Judaea, because he was of the lineage of David.  Whilst they were there Mary gives birth to Jesus.  To call attention to this wondrous event Luke records how an angel appears to nearby shepherds and tells them about the Saviour that has just been born.  They journey to see the baby for themselves, and then spread the word of what they have been told concerning Him. 

When Jesus is 8 days old they take Him to be circumcised, and give Him His Name.  On the 40th day they go to the Temple for the purification of Mary, and to offer a sacrifice (Lev. 12:2-6).  On entering the Temple they meet a devout man named Simeon.  On seeing Jesus he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and pronounces with great joy that Jehovah has answered his prayer to see the Salvation of both Jews and Gentiles before he dies.  Simeon then tells Mary she is to experience much anguish.  There was also a prophetess called Anna, who stayed at the Temple.  She too praised Jehovah for what she was seeing.  (It is interesting to note that Simeon is from Judah, and Anna is from Israel, here Judah and Israel were symbolically united and represented). 

After the circumcision and Temple offering, Matt. 2 records how wise men from the east sought Jesus to pay homage to Him, they were guided by a miraculous star.  Verse 11 tells us that this meeting took place in Joseph and Mary's house.  Therefore this was not at Bethlehem for that would have been a stable.  There were 3 gifts given by wise men, however, there is no mention of only 3 men, there would probably have been more!  Therefore, Jesus was most likely one to two years old by this time.  Soon after this Joseph is warned in a dream to take Mary and the young child and flee to Egypt because Herod the king was seeking to destroy Him.  It is interesting to note that Herod did put to death all the children under 2 years old that lived in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.  (This is the first recording of the Enemy ‘Satan’ [the prince of the power of the air] seeking to destroy the Saviour).  When Herod died, Joseph is again told by an angel to travel to Nazareth, this is to fulfil the Scriptures which say 'He should be called a Nazarene'  Matt. 2:23. 

We are told in Luke 2:41 that Mary and Joseph went up to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of Passover, (this shows the devout nature of both of them).  On one of these occasions when Jesus was 12, (at this age every Jewish boy becomes ‘a son of the Law’ and is being prepared to take their place in the religious community the following year age 13), instead of leaving with his parents He stayed in the Temple.  After searching for him they find Him three days later in the Temple courts listening to the teachers and asking them questions, they were all amazed at His knowledge.  Mary then questioned Him as to why He had treated them this way, as they were concerned about Him.  Jesus tells her He had to be doing “His Father's business”, (presumably this was to make it known to Mary and prepare her as to where His loyalties had to lie).  Verses 50 and 51 tell us that they did not understand what He meant by these sayings, but ‘Mary kept them in her heart’.  He returned with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them.  

The next time Mary is mentioned is in John 2.  Here at a wedding feast where Jesus, his mother and some of His disciples were all guests.  The disciples were probably Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathanael, James and John, (John 2:2 Ref. Companion Bible).  When the wine ran out, which was serious at a Jewish wedding feast, Mary spoke to Jesus telling Him of this.  This indicates the fact that Mary knew of His power, and shows her humanity in attempting to invoke it, from an Earthly volition as opposed to a Heavenly volition.  Jesus, in His condescending to the request, shows love and respect for Mary, but in His statement "what have I to do with thee" shows that "His time", and His power were ordained for specific and Divine purpose.  Although Jesus said to her that His hour had not yet come, she tells the servants to do whatever He told them to do, (these were the last recorded words of Mary).  Jesus then performs the first recorded miracle, by changing water into wine.  This wine was the best the guests had tasted, John 2:10. 

Jesus began His ministry when he was 30 years of age, Luke 3:23, this was the same age as the Levites when they began their ministry, Numbers 4:47.  At the time just after He had chosen the 12 disciples, Mark 3 describes how His brothers and His mother did not understand what he was doing and tried to stop Him, thinking Jesus was out of His mind. 

The next time we read about Mary is in John 19:26-27, here Jesus is on the cross and seeing His mother requests John look after her.  There is no reason given for this request, and is interesting as we are told Mary had 4 other sons and also daughters?  However, it is clear that the Lord had good reason for this choice.  One can only imagine the things John and Mary shared together concerning the life Mary had had with the Lord, and what the future held for the Jews, and indeed the world!  

 

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SUMMARY:  Mary was obviously a very special woman, she had to be, because she was chosen to bring the Jewish Messiah into the world.  Her obedience to the angel shows her personal trust in her Creator.  One can only imagine what her life was like looking after Jesus as He was growing up.  The experience in the Temple when He was 12 must have been a surprise to her, as one can imagine that Jesus would have been a very obedient child, but here we see Him staying behind when his family leave.  Of course she would realise much later at the filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, something of what He was telling her about His Father’s business.  30 years is a long time to share with a son, and this seems to be what Mary experienced, (she was probably the only one with him the whole of his Earthly life)!  We are told that He was thought of as the carpenter’s son Matt. 18:55, and being the eldest in the family, after Joseph died probably led the carpentry business that Joseph had run, and would have become the head of the family.  We are told in Matt. 13.55 that He had 4 brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Jude), and also sisters.  Maybe because of the 30 years of family life Mary experienced with Jesus helps to explain why she did not understand how when He began His ministry, He challenged the religious authorities, which presumably Mary and the family would not have dared to do.  In Mark 3:21 she and His brothers thought He was out of His senses.  

To watch the 3 years of Jesus’ ministry must have been full of heart searching and puzzlement for Mary, climaxing in the crucifixion, which must have seemed defeat.  Here Mary with other women constantly kept close to the cross and afterwards the tomb.  Mary also was one of the women mentioned praying when the Holy Spirit came upon them.  It is clear from many references to Mary's contemplations, that she was seeking to know the meaning and outcome of the incredible time in history which she was living in, and most importantly for her, taking such an unusual role in. 

It also seems clear that she was indeed a highly favoured woman, who despite the incredible experience of the birth of Jesus, lived a normal family life, and was in other respects a normal human being.  This is a very important point, as the Roman Catholic lie is very strong throughout the world, ‘that she is divine’, and they call her the “Queen of Heaven”, mother of God, and many errors extend from this teaching.  These grave errors seek to take away from the uniqueness of the Saviour, that only He is Divine.  The prayer that the RC’s perform on a daily basis to Mary as the mediator between man and God, is blasphemous. 

See: Corruption of the Bible Text: 

Why the Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is not of God Almighty:   

 

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