A Portrait of Mary

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38, Isaiah 7:14
Date: 05/13/2023 
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a great model of living with Christ in our hearts.

The Mystery of Mary Mother of Jesus - Paper or PDF Download

The Mystery of Mary Mother of Jesus - Paper or PDF Download
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Doug Batchelor: It's been many years, but it still feels like yesterday. Living in a cave high above Palm Springs, no money, no prospects just drifting through life, deeply confused about who I was and wondering if life held any purpose. Coming from a wealthy family, I could have had it all: money, power, fame. But this all struck me as plastic and empty. It wasn't until I was at the lowest point in my life when I found true meaning. Somebody had left a Bible in my cave and I quickly discovered why this is the number one best seller in the world.

Friends, I can't even begin to tell you what the Bible has done for me. It's the awe inspiring living Word that has the power to transform human hearts. Jesus said, "If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you'll know the truth, and the truth will make you free." And this is still the truth today. And it's the reason that I'm standing here today, thankful to be able to proclaim His Word and eager to bring hope to those in need. I truly believe that today's program is going to fulfill that desire and leave you with a rich blessing. And don't forget, stay tuned for our very important free offer at the end of this presentation.

Doug: Have you ever heard of a honey guide? Honey guides are birds that you're going to find in Africa that have a unique relationship with people, and even some other animals, where they will flutter and get the attention of somebody. And if you walk towards the bird, it'll go a little further, still within your distance, and a little further and it'll lead people and, some say, even badgers, to a beehive which then the people will harvest the honey and the honey guide then gets to eat the pollen and the larvae. And so, it is always showing people or badgers to where the honey is so that in the process they're getting to the hive, it opens it up so that the honey guide can get the honey. Now, something else interesting about honey guides, they're in a category of birds that we call brood parasites. That doesn't sound very nice, but what they do is, they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. And here you have a picture on the screen of, I think it's a woodpecker nest, and you see one little white egg in there because they have other birds raise their young. And they fly around, I guess, and they look at other nests and they evaluate the woodpecker or whatever the other bird is, "That looks like they got a nice nest. Looks like they're going to be good parents. I'm going to put an egg there."

Now, I realize that's a crude illustration. But can you imagine God deciding what mother and father are going to host and raise His Son Incarnate? What would be the criteria that you would have to make that decision? And I think as we look at the life of Mary, we're going to find that she had some characteristics we could all learn from that help us to understand, what does it take to have the Son of God born in you?

Now, you noticed something else unique about Mary is--and I can go through a number of things. I'm going to talk about her humanity and her genealogy, her humility, her devotion, her endurance, her purity, her piety, her adaptability, and it won't take as long as you think. And yes, there's more. Talk about her genealogy. Mary is a person of prophecy. And it says that the Messiah would not only come through a virgin, but the Messiah would come through the house of David, and it tells us that not only is Joseph related to David, you have the genealogy of Joseph in Matthew, Matthew, who's speaking to the Jews, he shows that the father can be traced back to David.

But in Luke, who's the doctor, he says, "Well, physiologically, she really comes from Mary." He then traces it through Joseph's father-in-law who is Heli, and so you can also find the book in Numbers verse--chapter 36, verse 8. "And every daughter, that possesses an inheritance in the tribe of the children of Israel, shall be the wife of one of the family of the tribe of her father." So, Mary married within the house of David because the inheritance could come through the daughter as well as the father, according to what Moses said to the daughters of Zelophehad. And then you look--of course, in Matthew chapter 1, you've got the genealogy going through Joseph.

Now, you notice next that it says in Luke chapter 1, verse 38 that the angel of the Lord appears to Mary. In fact, turn in your Bibles to the gospel of Luke, turn to Luke chapter 1, and we've got a few references here. So, often, I'm just sharing the scriptures I pasted into my notes, but sometimes it's good for us to go there and to read it directly. You look--it says now the angel of the Lord comes and he visits Mary, and you can start with verse 26. Comes to see the virgin, verse 27. And he says to her in verse 28, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" Mary is wondering, what does that mean? Now, what was every Jewish girl wondering? Someday the Messiah would come, obviously, be coming through a mother.

That's how most of us get here, right? Anyone excepted here? We--that's how it happens. And every Jewish girl was wondering, could I be the mother of the Messiah? Goes all the way back to Eve. Eve knew a Savior was coming and when Cain came along, she says, "I've received a manchild from the Lord," and she hoped it was Him. Obviously, he wasn't. And she's wondering what this declaration means. "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you. When she saw him, she's troubled and wonders what the greeting means. He says, 'Don't be afraid, Mary, for you found favor with God.'" And so, she's surprised and wonders what this is. And he says, "This is what's going to happen. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Now indeed, ‘Elizabeth your relative,' tells us that--Elizabeth is from the daughters of Aaron, which is a priest family, and Mary is related to David and, evidently, David and Aaron. So, she's got in her blood--you listening? She's got the king in her blood and she's got the priest in her blood. Jesus is our king and our priest. By the way, "You are a nations--a nation," Peter says, "of kings and priests," holy priesthood. She said, "How can this be?" "For with God nothing is impossible." Can you say amen?

Then what is Mary's attitude? Verse 38, "'Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her." So, we see that Mary's got a spirit of humility. She submits. You know, you're never more like Christ than when you're humble. Bible says Jesus humbled Himself. You're never more like the devil than when you're proud. The devil wanted to exalt himself. So we see her genealogy, we see her humility, and if we want Christ to be born in us, we must humble ourselves.

And then you see Mary's devotion. Continuing on in Luke chapter 1, verse 39. And I'm going to read here. "Now Mary arose in those days and went to the hill country in haste, to a city of Judah and she enters the house of Zachariah to greet Elizabeth. And it happens, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb," Now, how far along is Elizabeth? We just read it, "In the six month," it said, okay. How long does the gestation usually take? Nine months. That'll come up. "The babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she speaks out with a loud voice and says, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed," what does it tell us about Mary? When she said, "Be it unto me according to the Lord"? She--Mary believed.

How are we saved? By faith. Mary believed the Word of God. What did Zachariah say to the angel when he said, "You're going to have a baby?" He starts to argue. And the angel said, "Well, God's going to keep His Word, but you're going to be deaf until--you're going to be dumb, rather, until the baby is born." And Elizabeth is saying, "You believed. Blessed is he who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things that were told her from the Lord.' And then Mary said," verse 46. This is the longest statement of Mary in scripture. "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly estate of His maidservant," she sees herself as a servant, "for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me."

And it says, "Mary remained with her," for how long? "Three months." How long did Mary stay with her? She was there when John the Baptist was born and then she goes back home. So, she gets a lot of traveling in before this is over. So, we see Mary's devotion. Mary knew the Word. She quotes from the scripture, she had a personal relationship with the Lord. She prayed, she read the Word. And that's something, I think, we want. For the Lord to be born in us, we must be people of devotion.

Then we learn about Mary's endurance. If you can read in Luke chapter 2, it says that the emperor issues a census that all the world is to be taxed, all the Roman Empire. In order for them to be registered for the tax, so that people aren't moving from place to place, they need to go back to the city of their birth. And Joseph and Mary are forced, now, to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem, which is about 70 miles. How many of you remember reading about the donkey she rode? How many of you have seen her riding on a donkey? Come on. I mean, pictures. Hey, and you know I never seen--oh, you're afraid I'm trying to trap you. You said, "I'm not saying nothing. He's trying to get me." Yeah. And how many of you have seen pictures of Mary on a donkey? Come on, fess up. Where does it say, anywhere, she ever rode a donkey? The donkey is not there. The donkey is with Balaam in the Old Testament. The donkey's with Jesus when He rides into Jerusalem. She may have ridden a donkey. She may have walked 70 miles nine months pregnant. That's endurance. She was tough. Just like the children of Israel going through the wilderness.

So, she has endurance. You read about that in Luke 2, verse 6, not only that, while she's in Bethlehem, "The days were accomplished that she should be delivered. She brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in strips of cloth," swaddling clothes, "and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." And then you see that Mary has purity. It says she had--now, this is Matthew 1:25, "And she had no marital relations--Joseph had no marital relations with her until she had born her Son and named Him Jesus."

Now, I just got to take a little detour here. You know, our friends in the Catholic Church, and maybe some of the other orthodox churches, they teach something called the Immaculate Conception and they believe that Mary remained a virgin through her life. The Bible doesn't teach that. I think it's pretty clear when the Bible says that, "He did not know her until," that would settle the matter. Joseph and Mary had a normal--they were humans and normal married life, but because she's now carrying the child, Joseph and Mary, and through the Holy Spirit, they said that, "We don't want anyone to have any questions or any doubt. We never came together as man and woman until after this child was born, He was conceived purely of the Holy Spirit." So, to remove all doubt they had that covenant that they kept, you understand? But after Jesus was born, they had a normal marriage.

But it tells us that she had a life of purity. Mary was pure. Mary was pious. Now, what do I mean by that? It tells us that, and you read in Luke chapter 2, verse 34, she brings Him to the house of God at the appropriate time, on His eighth day, so that He could be named, registered, circumcised. By the way, the first time Jesus shed blood was at His circumcision, Mary was there. On the cross when He shed blood, at His Crucifixion, Mary was there. Mary was one of the only ones to witness both His birth and His death. Another little footnote, you might find it interesting that the name Mary and the person Mary is also even revered in the Quran. They have a whole chapter dedicated to Mary, did you know that? They believe that she was a holy woman. But she brought Him to church and she must have done something right, because not only does she bring Him to be named and circumcised--and then, of course, Simeon comes out and he's filled with the Holy Spirit and he makes a declaration; Anna comes out, she's filled with the Holy Spirit. And so, it's a very, you know, important occasion. It's auspicious, as they would say, when she brings him to the temple and He is named Jesus and it's registered, and He's circumcised according to the covenant, and--but she brings Him to church.

And I think it was a habit all through His life because you read on and it says in Luke 4:16, "So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day." Where do you think Jesus got that custom? His mother and father had the pattern of bringing Him to church, even through the teenage years when some might protest, Jesus never protested.

Something else He learned about Mary, she must have had some adaptability. Joseph says, "Mary, I know you're six months pregnant, but we've got to go down to Bethlehem." Says, "Okay." Then, after they're in Bethlehem, she settles down because the wise men came into the house so they settled there because they were from there originally, anyway. And then the angel says, "Joseph, you better get out of town. Herod wants to kill the baby." And Joseph says to Mary, "Mary, we're moving to Egypt." Any of you married to a man like that? Just makes a sudden announcement? And she says, "Okay, if that's what God wants." And she moves to Egypt. Strange land, strange people, speak a different language. Though, they did have a Jewish community in Alexandria and they may have gone there. So, we see that she's got adaptability and God preserves them there.

Then you see that Mary's got wisdom. It's the sagacity of Mary. And that's telling us--look at this, in Luke 2, verse 40, "The Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." Look in Luke 2:52, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man." I remember when I first started reading the Bible, I went down to the local bookstore and I found the Christian section and it had, "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus." I didn't know better and I was kind of open to anything back then. And it was saying, "Yeah, Jesus, when He was a boy, He could never have gotten that wisdom from Joseph and Mary. The wisdom--He was adopted by these gurus in India and they taught Him."

And, you know, they've got all these theories about where did--what happened during the silent years. They say, "Jesus went missing from His birth until His ministry." He didn't go missing. It says right here in the Bible He was home growing in wisdom and stature. He grew up with them. Says, "He went home and He was subject to them." He was there. Amen? He was with them in Egypt, in Bethlehem, in Nazareth. He did not take a trip to China or India as some have speculated. How many of you have heard some of these crazy theories? Yeah. They just can't figure how He could have got that wisdom. So, you see, that Mary must have been wise. She was teaching that wisdom. By the way, Solomon's wisdom was not just all spiritual, you might say. Solomon's mother, what was her name? Bathsheba. Do you know who Bathsheba's grandfather was? Ahithophel, David's wisest counselor. She had some good genetics, too.

So, Bathsheba was wise, Mary was wise. Look at this. Luke chapter 2:46, after they had come, when Jesus was 12 years old, first time they go to the temple, and when Mary and Joseph go home with the big entourage that's come from Nazareth, they're heading north. And, you know, Jesus was a responsible young man. They assumed He was somewhere in the crowd of pilgrims who were going back home. But that first or second night, they didn't see Him anywhere around the camp. Finally, they turned back. And where did they find Him? In the temple. And it says, "After three days," and this is Luke 2:46, "came to pass after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors," and Jesus had no Ph.D.

We also learn about Mary's compassion. Now, Christ has begun His ministry. She seemed to know that when He went to get baptized this was His mission. And the first miracle is, you know, the wedding feast at Cana. Says, "On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana," probably a relative, because Mary comes and Jesus comes, "and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine," they probably would have had enough if He hadn't brought all the disciples, "they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.'"

Now, everyone makes a big deal of the miracle of Jesus and, as they should, but I think sometimes we miss something. Who is it that has compassion on the embarrassing situation of the bride and the groom? Mary has compassion. She says, "Oh, this is embarrassing," and, "This is awkward," and, "What can we do to help?" And she wants to remedy the situation. So, she goes to Jesus and she said, "They have no wine." She says with an imploring voice. You know, sometimes, if you're married or you're a parent, you might just say, "Oh, the garbage bag looks full." Now, that translates, "Will you take the garbage out?" But the way you say it is, first, you just say the problem, right? Then you're hoping that they'll know what the answer is.

So, she says, "They have no wine." He understands what the implication is and He says, "Woman," I got to just stop. When He says, "Woman," there, sometimes you think, that's kind of harsh. "Woman." You know, when I was a hippie, these motorcycle riders would call their girlfriend, "Hey, woman," and it was kind of demeaning. That isn't what this word means. The word was a term of respect, it means madam. I don't know, maybe in Spanish it would be like, "Señora." It's a term of respect. And so, He says, madam, "What does your concern have to do with Me?" "Providing the grape juice for the wedding is not My principal mission." "My hour has not yet come." In the garden of Gethsemane He finally says, "My hour has come." But then His mother--there must have been some unwritten communication because she then tells the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." He must have smiled and said, "I'll help you, but this is not My primary mission." You know--I don't know. Do you underline in your Bible? You know what Mary said? "Whatever He says to you, do it." That's a good thing to underline. "Whatever He says to you, do it." And, of course, He works a miracle. So we see Mary's compassion there.

Then we see Mary's patience. "Came to pass," and this is Luke 8:19, "His mother and His brethren could not come to Him because of the crowd so they sent a messenger to fight his way through the crowd. And the messenger says, 'Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, they're desiring to see You.'" We don't know exactly why, but they wanted to see Him. "And He answered and said, 'My mother and My brethren are these that hear the word of God and do it.'" There again you have the emphasis on doing the Word of God.

Now, Jesus always kept family a priority, but what's the most important family? Family of God. Jesus said, "That's the priority. It's not just that we might be related by blood, but those who do the Word of God, they are My family. They are My mother, and My sister, and My brother." Mary deals with this patiently. There's no protest. Now, the next time Mary appears, I'm sure she was there many times along the way, is at the cross. You know, when she was in the temple with Jesus and He was named, Simon said, "And a sword will pierce your own soul."

If you're a mother, there are going to be times of sorrow and heartache. I've never heard that truth discourage any woman from choosing to be a mother, but you know it's true. There'll be times where you worry, and times you fret and you pray, and there might be some anguish. Don't be discouraged, you're not alone. And doesn't it hurt us more to see our children suffer than to suffer ourselves? So, when Jesus is being tried and led away, word eventually reaches Mary, as it did all the apostles, and she's trying to keep up with what's happening. And she sees the Crucifixion is going to happen. She finally comprehends, fully, the mission of Jesus after the cross.

And guess who's in the upper room when the Holy Spirit is poured out? You read in Luke 24:33, she was probably there at the Resurrection. It says, "They rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, they found the eleven and those who were with them," the 11 and those who were with them. Who were with the 11? You go to Acts chapter 1, verse 14. "These all continued with one accord in prayer," the 12 apostles, "and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren," the brothers. And so, we see that she's there now, she's filled with the Holy Spirit, with the early church. And she became, as you'd say, a mother in Israel, a patriarch.

Mary is a good example for us. She had these qualities, this patience, this endurance, this purity, humility, devotion that every one of us wants to have. Not just the mothers in our group, but we all have those things. And Christ is born in us. She witnessed the Crucifixion, then she witnessed the filling with the Holy Spirit. When we see Jesus lifted up for us, we also receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. Mary is a child of God just like all of us and how many of us want to be children of our heavenly Father?

Doug: Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most fascinating yet misunderstood characters in Bible history. A godly woman entrusted with one of the most awesome responsibilities of any mother. But how are we to understand that role? And what does it mean to Christians today? Does the Bible say that Mary became a goddess that should be worshiped? Do the scriptures encourage followers of Jesus to pray to Mary? To answer these questions, Amazing Facts would like to send you a special free resource called, "The Mystery of Mary: the Mother of Jesus." This easy-to-understand book delves into the biblical principles to explain, in a respectful and loving way, what her role was in her time and in our time. Explore Mary's fascinating family tree, discover the nature of Mary and the miraculous conception, and understand something of her relationship and interaction with Jesus. To get your free copy, call the number on your screen and ask for offer number 865 or visit the web address. And after you read this inspirational resource, make sure and share it with a friend.

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