Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mary of Nazareth

Women In Christ's Time
Mary of Nazareth (Mother of Jesus)

Mary: "Blessed among women"

Key Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25; 2; Luke 1:26-80; 2:1-52; John 19:25-27

Her Name Means: “Star of the Sea” or “bitterness” or “Sea of bitterness”

Her Character: Mary was a woman of rare strength and obedience. She was a willing servant. She trusted God and she obeyed his call.

Her Strengths: Mary's submission to God's plan would cost her dearly, yet she was willing to be God's servant.

Her Sorrow: To see the son that she loved shamed and tortured, left to die like the worst kind of criminal.

Her Joy: To see her child raised from the dead.

Pre-Story: Mary was a young girl, probably only about 12 or 13 years old. She was a virgin from a poor family in an obscure village in Galilee. She belonged to the tribe of Levi. She had recently become engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. Mary was an ordinary Jewish girl, looking forward to marriage.

Her Story: In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth in Galilee to a virgin named Mary. Mary was a Jewish girl who was pledged to be married to a man named Joseph who was a descendant of David. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

Mary's baby was not to be born in the manner that other babies on earth had been born. He would have an earthly mother, Mary, but He would be fathered by the Holy Spirit of God. He would be the Son of God! He would be Emmanuel, "God is with us". He would be a king and establish a kingdom which would never end.

"How will this be, "Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."

"'I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. Luke 1:26-38

You can imagine Joseph's reaction when he found out Mary was pregnant. They had not finalized the marriage nor lived together as man and wife. She would be disgraced. As he was trying to figure out what to do, an angel appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

Another person also knew the truth; Elizabeth, her cousin. Mary visited with Elisabeth, (who would become the mother of John the Baptist) and told her about the angel's visit and the events that had taken place.

As the time neared for the baby to be born, Mary and Joseph had to go to the town of Bethlehem the town of David to pay their taxes. Mary and Joseph probably walked more than 90 miles before they reached their resting place at the stable.When they arrived in the town all the inns were filled because many other people had also come into town for the same purpose. The only place for them to stay was in a stable, and it was there that Jesus, the Son of God, was born. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.

The first announcement of the birth was to shepherds watching their sheep in the field. An angel appeared to them saying, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Then many angels appeared praising God for the event which had taken place. The shepherds hurried and found the Baby and immediately began to tell other people about what they had witnessed.

Mary and Joseph lovingly cared for the Child and were guided by the Holy Spirit. Once, because of a warning by an angel, they had to flee to Egypt and stay for a long while because His life was in danger.

The last mention of Joseph, was during the temple visit in Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old. Jesus was presented in the temple before Simeon, the prophet said to Mary, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against."

And Mary's soul was pierced when she saw her Son, at thirty-three years of age, crucified on a cross. Mary was there at the Cross, near enough to catch His last words, "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." John 19:26-27

“Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus, His mother.” She had to be there because that is the way of a mother. From the cradle to the grave, Mary was a good mother. She gave birth to him as her baby and watched him die as her Savior.

The Bible is silent regarding how Mary died. The last mention of Mary in Scripture is her meeting regularly with the disciples in Jerusalem, after the ascension of Christ. Acts 1:14. She was buried without a funeral mentioned in Scripture. Her grave is unmarked. She passed swiftly through pages of God's Word. She was chosen among all the women on earth to be Jesus' Mother! Mary was the only human being to be with Jesus throughout his entire life - from his birth until his death.

Her Place in God's Divine Plan: Jesus had to be born in the line of David according to 2 Samuel 7:12-13. The lineage of Jesus is recorded in two places: Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3: 23-38. Matthew follows the line of Joseph through David's son Solomon. Luke follows Mary's line through David's son Nathan. Luke records that Joseph was a descendant of David, yet when he records the family tree of Jesus he gives the ancestors, not of Joseph, but of Mary. Mary was also a descendant of David,

Her Challenges Along the Way: Though she would one day be highly honored as the mother of the Savior, her calling would demand great suffering as well. There would be much pain in the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah.

Her Victories: Mary was described by God as “highly favored” Luke 1:28. She received God’s grace.

Lesson We Can Learn from Her Legacy: Mary was young, poor and female. These qualities made her unsuitable in the eyes of her people to be used mightily of God. However, God looked upon the quality of her trust and obedience. Just like Mary, God looks at our obedience and trust--usually not the qualifications that man might look upon. God will often choose and use the most unlikely of choices.

Pray for the grace to be like the woman who said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as You have said." When God say's nothing is impossible, He means it. He is all-powerful, omnipresent, the Savior of the world. No matter what He has promised, no matter how hard or impossible that promise seems to fulfill, He can and will di it.

Birthplace: Nazareth in Galilee.
Occupation: Wife, mother, homemaker.
Spouse: Joseph
Parents: Joachim (Father) Anne (Mother)
Children: Jesus, James,  Joses, Simon, and un-named daughters.
Relatives - Zechariah, Elizabeth

*When Mary heard the words of the angel she sang a song of praise to God: Mary's Song

"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 the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends to those that fear Him from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; He has scattered the 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 for ever, even as he said to our fathers." (Luke 1:46-55)

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