Lesson Eleven | Devotion #3: Mary of Nazareth
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator
“Greetings, You who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” We find this greeting being given to a young virgin girl named Mary in Luke 1:28-35 (NIV). The shocking and unexpected announcement continues as the Angel of the Lord informs this sweet young girl that her life is about to drastically change! He goes on to say, “‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call him 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 regin over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the Angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The Angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on 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 will never fail.’” My very favorite part of the narrative is Mary’s response, “I am the Lord’s servant, May Your word to me be fulfilled.” Do you think her response could be why she was found “highly favored” in God’s eyes? She was not just some random virgin girl that found favor in God’s eyes. The Prophets in the Old Testament foretold the details of Christ’s birth many years earlier, and it was fulfilled with perfect precision! The woman chosen to carry and give birth to the Son of God was described in detail from the Old Testament Prophets. Listed below are a few of the prophecies surrounding Jesus’ birth.
- He was to be born of a virgin.
Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Fulfilled- Mary was a virgin girl.
- The Messiah would be from the line of Abraham and David.
Genesis 22:18 says, “And in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Matthew 1:1 says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”
Luke 2:4 adds, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.”
Fulfilled-Mary was a descendant of Abraham and David.
- He would be born in Bethlehem.
Micah 5:2 (NIV) says, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” The account of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is told in the New Testament books of Matthew, Luke, and John.
Fulfilled – Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem for the census.
Mary is not a prominent figure throughout Scripture, in fact, she is mentioned only a few times in the Gospel accounts during Jesus’ early childhood; His birth, fleeing to Egypt when Jesus was two years old, and again when Jesus at age 12 is teaching in the Temple. Other than that, Mary is not mentioned again until Jesus begins His public ministry. When Jesus was 30, He performed His first miracle at the wedding in Cana. This is where He turned the water into wine. Mary inadvertently launched His ministry a bit early when she asked Jesus for a miracle at the wedding, because they were running out of the good wine. After a gentle rebuke, He complied (John 2:1-11).
In Mark 3:31-35 we read, “And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.’ And he answered them, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.’” This is where we begin to see a shift in their mother and Son relationship. He stated He was about His Father’s business. Mary, nor anyone else in His family, had a greater claim on Him than anyone else. Jesus treated Mary with respect and honor but never placed her on an exalted level of supremacy. Mary, herself eventually came to a place where she let go of her maternal duties and submitted to her Son as her Lord and Savior. She ultimately followed Him all the way to the cross. Mary was an ordinary young lady who was chosen by God to do an extraordinary thing. She obeyed without hesitation and became a major world changer!