Mary, mother of Jesus, was a beautiful soul who miraculously gave birth
to the Christ child. We would do well to follow her devoted life of
Please read Luke 1:26-38 before starting GraspingGod.com's free Bible study lessons, #2.02.
Previous lesson: Jesus' Birth #2.01
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) Why was Mary favored by God?
2) Did Mary ever experience fear while raising the Christ child?
3) To whom did Jesus pass on the earthly care of Mary, while he was on the cross?
Thanks for joining me today. This lesson is devoted to a loving woman who was blessed more than any other.
Mary was a teenaged, peasant girl who loved the Lord. She lived in Nazareth, a city in Galilee, and was from the tribe of Judah, meaning she was in the line of King David of Israel. Mary was engaged to be married to a gentleman from Nazareth, Joseph the carpenter.
Mary was chosen by God because of her lineage, high character, and strong faith. God informed her by sending his angel, Gabriel. The unsuspecting Mary was surprised, and partly in shock by the glorious angel. Gabriel told her, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!" Mary was alarmed, as she wondered what was actually happening. I would be shocked if an angel appeared to me! Wouldn't you?
Gabriel comforted Mary with these words, "Don't be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor, David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his kingdom will never end."
Mary was in shock, and grasping for words, as she stuttered, "But how can this happen? I am a virgin?"
Gabriel explained, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God." The Virgin Mary lovingly, obediently submitted while saying these beautiful words, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." The angel Gabriel was pleased with her response and returned to heaven.
The Christ child was born after a normal pregnancy. Mary, mother of Jesus wrapped him snugly in strips of clothing.
There were three shepherds tending their flocks nearby, when an angel appeared to proclaim, “Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Then the heavens opened up with multitudes of angels descending, singing, "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased!"
The shepherds found Mary mother of Jesus, and Joseph father of Jesus in Bethlehem and visited their baby King. They told Mary what transpired in the fields and she "kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often" (Luke 2:19). These were the first true believers in the newly born Savior, the Son of man.
Mary, mother of Jesus, and Joseph had the baby circumcised, according to Jewish custom. They also presented an offering to God because Jesus was their first born son.
At the dedication, a godly man named Simeon approached them and poured out this blessing to the parents, "Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised me. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!" Mary and Joseph were excited about the word.
Simeon then turned to Mary, mother of Jesus, and said, "This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul" (Luke 2:34-35).
These were frightening words for Mary, of which she wouldn't know the depths of until Jesus' crucifixion. In the meantime, a God-sized task of mothering God's only Son awaited her.
Joseph, father of Jesus, and Mary, mother of Jesus raised him according to the Jewish laws of the day. They were wonderfully devoted parents to the Christ child. The Scriptures tell us Jesus Christ grew up healthy and strong, and that he was filled with wisdom, and God's favor was upon him" (Luke 2:40). Joseph and Mary did a wonderful job raising Jesus.
Their lives weren't so easy, though. King Herod had heard of a future king being born in Bethlehem, so he made a pronouncement that all boys under 2 years of age would be killed by the sword.
Joseph and Mary, mother of Jesus fled to Egypt with their son (Matthew 2:13-18).
The parents also lost Jesus once, while visiting Jerusalem. They returned to town to find him visiting his Father's temple (Luke 2:41-52). We don't hear any mention of Joseph after this event, so it is presumed he died between this event and Jesus' crucifixion.
The story of the Virgin Mary became quiet for sometime after the Jerusalem visit. We can take a look at the few times she was mentioned between Jesus' temple visit and Jesus' death.
She was present at Jesus' first public miracle - when he turned the water to wine at the marriage ceremony (John 2:1-12). Upon hearing that the party hosts ran out of wine, she implored Jesus to take care of the situation.
gently rebuked her by saying his time hadn't yet come. But, he rethought
the moment and asked the servants to fill some empty jars with water.
Mary, mother of Jesus, told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
The master of ceremonies was greatly pleased after dipping into the
stone jars. The high quality of the wine and the sheer amount of it astounded the master of ceremonies.
Luke 8:19-21 records a visit by Mary and her other sons who came to visit Jesus while he was intently teaching a large crowd. He took the moment to teach that his most important family included those who followed him, like the disciples. I'm sure this didn't surprise Mary, mother of Jesus, because of all the information she had hidden in her heart.
Jesus was pressing on with his Kingdom mission - saving lost souls. Mary, more than all others, understood his mission.
We later see Mary, mother of Jesus again at the foot of the cross. She knew what was happening, but stayed strong. Others fled, she only loved him more. She was absorbing every second her living son had remaining in his body. Jesus' love for his mother led him to pass on her care to the disciple John (John 19:26-27), who brought Mary into his home.
The final mention of Mary in the Scriptures is in Acts 1:14 where she, along with others, is awaiting the coming Holy Spirit. Mary, mother of Jesus, would soon become a true, forgiven and saved soul. Mary was saved by faith, through God's grace, not of her works, because she could then boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Mary, mother of Jesus, was saved by believing in God, and she was given the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). She trusted in God and his Son, her Savior. Mary was then freed from her personal sins (Luke 1:47). Mary was saved and awarded an eternity with Christ. Would you like to join her? Do exactly as she did - trust in God alone - and you'll be every bit as blessed by God.
Mary, mother of Jesus, knew more than anyone about the real nature of Jesus Christ. Her faith in him never wavered, because her heart was full of messages from God the Father.
It's interesting that the disciple John wrote in his gospel that, "Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25).
Can you imagine Jesus' miraculous works that Mary witnessed? Imagine her listening to Jesus praying to his Father in heaven and hearing God's instructions to Jesus. I get goosebumps when I think about meeting Mary in heaven. You and I are in for so many wonderful times in paradise!
Mary, mother of Jesus, was truly blessed of God, one of his favored souls. She was used to give the Son of God his humanity, so that he could save us all from the destruction of our souls. Let's honor her, but let's give the greatest honor to her son, the Son of God. Let's trust Jesus, like his mother Mary trusted him.
Join us for the next lesson: The Early Life Of Jesus #2.03
Bible Study Questions:
1) Why do you think God chose a virgin to give birth to the coming Messiah?
2) Read Proverbs 31 and meditate on how Mary undoubtedly fulfilled the role of a godly wife.
3) Mary had a sin nature, and she confessed to sinning herself (Luke 1:47). What lessons of faith can we learn from Mary?
Inspirational Bible Verses:
From Virgin Mary's own heart:
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
The entire gospel stands or falls on the virgin birth. David Cloud
I believe in . . . Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. Apostle's Creed
He came from God, all the apostles believed, in a sense in which no other came; does it not follow that he came in a way in which no other came? James Demney
All of us accept that the belief that our Lord was conceived in the womb of Mary by the creative power of God the Holy Spirit without the intervention of a human father can be held with full intellectual integrity. Anglican House of Bishops in England
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
Dear Holy Spirit
Thank you for your miraculous work
in creating the God man, Jesus Christ
Your power brought the Son from heaven
to the dusty little manger in Bethlehem
You are in our hearts, Holy Spirit
reveal this incredible event to us
Help us to grasp the magnitude
of the God who came forth in flesh
Turn our cold hearts towards Him
and to his Father.
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