Mother of Jesus
By Patricia Chadwick
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the best-known
female character in the Bible. We are first
introduced to Mary when her name appears in the
genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew
where she is referred to as the wife of Joseph.
Though her first mention is in this context, she
soon became known as a godly young woman who God
chose to carry his Son to term. Mary was the
mother of Jesus Christ.
Historically, little is known about Mary. It is
told to us that Mary was a peasant woman from
the tribe of Judah, and in the line of King
David. She became the wife of Joseph, son of
Heli (Luke 2:7). It is never mentioned who
Mary's parents were, but based on the knowledge
of Mary's character found in the Scriptures, it
is believed that she came from a godly home of
devout Jews. In the time period that Mary lived,
girls were not always trained in the Holy
Scriptures, but were trained mainly to run the
home. But Mary evidently had a been trained in
As seen by her praise of God in her "Magnificat"
in Luke 1:47-55, Mary was well-versed in the
Scriptures and had hidden portions of it in her
Mary was engaged to Joseph and in that era the
engagement, or betrothal, was binding and could
only be dissolved by a legal divorce. This
engagement was signed by an official and came at
least a year before the marriage took place. It
is believed that Mary was quite young when she
married. Most Israelite boys at that time
married in their late teens, but women wed even
earlier. According to The Handbook of Life in
Bible Times, by J.A. Thompson, rabbis had set
the minimum age for marriage at 12 for girls.
Mary was likely a young adolescent.
Though she was young, and probably poor, Mary
had something priceless inside: she was a woman
of faith who loved God deeply,
having an obedient spirit. Have you ever
wondered what kind of woman God would choose to
carry His Son? She was chosen to love and
nurture Him as her firstborn and raise Him in
the knowledge of God.
* Mary was a chaste virgin. In Isaiah 7:14, the
prophet Isaiah stated that the Messiah (God's
Son) would be born of a virgin. Mary fit the
bill. She was a young, unmarried woman; pure and
* Mary was a humble woman. Mary was a small-town
girl from the insignificant village of Nazareth.
Though she was of nobility, being in the line of
King David, the family had lost all its status
because of the years of Israel's captivity and
years of foreign domination. No, Mary was a
peasant girl, not a princess.
* Mary was an obedient follower. God does not
look at outward appearances, but always looks at
the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). When God looked at
Mary He saw an obedient woman who would live
according to His will, just like her ancestor,
David (Acts 13:22)
* Mary was a faithful Jew. Mary
was of the tribe of Judah and the line of David.
She worshipped the one true God and she knew the
After the birth of Jesus, many curious events
occurred. The shepherds, who were out in the
fields tending their sheep, had seen angels who
told them that their Savior had just been born
and that they should go find the Child in
Bethlehem. They found Him and they worshiped.
Later, wise men from the East came to Bethlehem
to honor the Child, whose "star was seen in the
East (Matthew 2:2). They found Him, and they
worshiped. Mary just took it all in and she
pondered these things in her heart (Luke 2:19).
She was given a great responsibility, yes. But
she was also given a tremendous gift.
Mary's service to God did not end that first
Christmas when Jesus was born. Mary mothered
Jesus for the thirty years that he lived with
her their poor Nazareth home. From childhood to
manhood, Mary loved and nurtured Jesus as he
grew into manhood. She did all the things a
devoted mother did for the son she new was no
ordinary man. Mary could not surround her Son
with wealth. The family was so poor that when
she went to the Temple to present Him to the
Lord, she could only offer a pair pigeons - the
offering of the very poor. She could not
introduce Him to the culture of the day. Being
poor and enduring a forced exile in Egypt
(Matthew 2:13-15) Mary and Joseph had little
education to pass on to the young Jesus. But
Mary had so much to give Jesus. She gave him
gifts of infinite more value than secular and
* She gave Him birth.
* She, along with Joseph, gave him a home.
* She cultivated in the home a purity of heart,
obedience, and love.
Mary was a woman who was blessed by God. Though
she seemingly had nothing to offer, she was
chosen by God himself to be a part of His plan
of redemption of mankind. She was young, poor,
and unknown. She had never been a mother, she
possessed no wealth or family inheritance, and
she boasted no fame or social status. Yet she
has been honored throughout all history for her
faithful obedience to God.
Excerpt from Old Fashioned Holidays from
History's Women written by Patricia Chadwick. It
is available in both print and ebook formats at
www.HistorysWomen.com. Stop by and pick up your