Mary the Mother of Jesus

Text: Matthew 1:20-23

Some in the religious world elevate Mary to the status of deity. She played an important role in Christ being born into the world, but she was not equal with Him. Without elevating her too highly, we can recognize and appreciate the good qualities she possessed. We will consider some of these in this lesson.

Purity (Matthew 1:23)

  • Her conception was miraculous – according to God’s design, a child is conceived through the sexual union of a male and female (Genesis 1:27-28); yet Mary was a virgin (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14)
  • Emphasizes the importance of purity – sexual relations are to be reserved for marriage (Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4); purity comes from a modest heart (1 Peter 3:1-4)

Submissiveness (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-21)

  • This chapter focuses more on Joseph than on Mary – God appeared to him to warn and instruct him; the significance is that she was submissive to Joseph
  • Wives have the responsibility to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24)
  • In a broader sense, all Christians are to have an attitude of submissiveness (Ephesians 5:21; cf. Philippians 2:3-4)

Faith (Luke 1:38)

  • Before she conceived, an angel appeared to Mary to tell her what was to happen (Luke 1:26-37) – she was told she would conceive as the Holy Spirit came upon her and that Elizabeth had conceived in her old age; this showed that “nothing [is] impossible with God” (Luke 1:37); she stated her belief (Luke 1:38)
  • We need to have the same type of faith in God – He can do beyond what we think (Ephesians 3:20); we need to trust that He will do what He has said (Romans 4:18-22; Hebrews 6:13-18); then we must serve Him as “the bondslave of the Lord” (Luke 1:38; cf. John 2:5)

Thoughtfulness (Luke 1:29; 2:18-19, 50-51)

  • Several times, Mary was perplexed or wondered about what was happening (Luke 1:29; 2:19, 51) – she may not have had a perfect understanding at the time, but she thoughtfully considered these things
  • There will be times when we do not understand what God has revealed (2 Peter 3:16; John 3:3-9) – on these occasions, we should not jump to conclusions or completely dismiss it either; we need to study and meditate on God’s word to gain understanding (Psalm 119:97-100)

Concern for Others (John 2:1-5)

  • Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana (John 2:1, 11) – began at the urging of Mary (John 2:3); it would be an embarrassment to the family to run out of wine; she was concerned for them
  • As Jesus’ disciples, we are to be mindful of others (Colossians 3:12) – we must seek to do good to others (Galatians 6:10); practice the “golden rule” (Matthew 7:12)

Emphasis on Obeying Jesus (John 2:5)

  • Mary knew Jesus could do something no one else could do to remedy the problem at the wedding – she did not know what Jesus would say, but told the servants to do whatever He said
  • This is the attitude we must have when it comes to the words of Christ – whatever He says, we must do it (Matthew 28:20); shows respect for Him (Luke 6:46); demonstrates our love for Him (John 14:15); no matter what the Lord instructs us to do in His word, we simply need to do it

Courage (John 19:25)

  • When Jesus was arrested, His disciples fled (Mark 14:50) – only John was present at the cross (John 19:26); Mary was also there, showing her courage in being seen there supporting Jesus
  • In preparing them for His death, Jesus told His disciples to take courage (John 16:33) – we need the same courage to not fear what others might think or do (Matthew 10:28; Revelation 2:10)

Unity with Jesus’ Disciples (Acts 1:14)

  • The apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5) to begin their mission (Acts 1:8) – while they waited, they were of one mind and purpose; Mary was among them in this
  • The NT emphasizes Jesus’ disciples being of one mind (John 17:20-21; Acts 2:46; 4:32) – we are to strive for unity in Christ (Ephesians 4:3, 13)


  • After the church was established, there is no other mention of Mary in the NT – the fact that she was mentioned with the disciples in Acts 1 suggests that she probably obeyed the gospel, but we are not told
  • She was not to be revered as a deity (Luke 11:27-28) – instead, we need to focus on the blessings that come from hearing God’s word and doing it
  • She was only recognized as a disciple if she would become one (Matthew 12:46-50) – she needed to do the will of the Father, just as we must (Matthew 7:21)

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