Mary, the Mother of Jesus

From Issue: Discovery 12/1/2001

One of the most famous and most misunderstood women in the Bible is Mary, the mother of Jesus. We do not know much about her background. But everything that we do know about her from the Bible tells us that she was a remarkable woman.

She probably was a teenager when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Savior of the world. She did not understand how she could possibly have a baby, but she believed in the power of God and accepted the responsibility.

Months later, Mary was willing to make the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Joseph, even though she was pregnant. Except for Joseph, she had no family or friends to help her, no hospital or doctor to care for her and her new baby.

About two years after Jesus’ birth, Mary and her family faced a potential tragedy when Herod wanted to kill her Son. Once again, she and Joseph had to leave behind the people and places they knew in order to travel hundreds of miles to Egypt. When God told them that they could go back to Palestine, Mary made the long trip with a small child again—without grumbling or complaining.

When Jesus grew to be a man, Mary continued to support her Son. She was with Jesus when He performed His first miracle. She and His brothers came to see Him while He was preaching to great crowds (Matthew 12:46-50). After about three years of preaching, she learned that her Son had been arrested, badly beaten, put on trial, and sentenced to die. She stood at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ good friend John and heard those around her say terrible things to her Son. She heard His cry for a drink, but she could not help him. She saw Jesus struggle to breathe, but she could not comfort Him or make the hurt go away, as she undoubtedly had done many times when He was a child. And as Jesus died, Mary heard Him tell John to take care of Mary as if she were his own mother (John 19:26).

As much as her heart ached after watching her Son suffer and die, Mary did not give up on her commitment to God. Just a few weeks after Jesus’ death, she was with the apostles and some other disciples in an upper room, praying (Acts 1:14).

Several times during her life, Mary had to face things she did not understand, as well as terrible tragedy. But she never gave up on the love and promises of almighty God. She was a woman of quiet strength who made the decision to trust God and obey Him when she was very young. And she never wavered in that commitment.


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