(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
Women of Purity: Mary, Mother of Jesus the Messiah
By Selma Komisky
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”
– Luke 1:42 (NIV)
Mary was an ordinary Jewish peasant girl from a small town of Nazareth that was 12 or 13 years of age. She was also from the tribe of Judah and was betrothed (engaged) to a carpenter named Joseph. He too was from the tribe of Judah and the line of King David according to Matthew 1:18-19.
In Luke 1:28, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she was highly favored by God and she responded to God with belief and obedience. The Lord was with Mary and she was divinely selected to be the earthly mother of God incarnate. This was prophesied that it would be so in Isaiah 7:14-16 and Isaiah 9:6-7.
Mary was also a virgin. According to Luke in the Bible, Mary said to the angel, “How will this be since I am a virgin”? (Luke 1:34, ESV). In Luke 1:35, the angel answered her and said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.” So Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (a supernatural, divine, conception).
Even at a young age, Mary trusted God and was a servant. She was a godly young girl that loved God deeply and worshipped Him. Luke 1:47-55 also tells us that Mary was well versed in the scriptures and hid them in her heart. It was this passion for God’s Word that sparked her faith which was tremendous. This is seen when she replied, “Behold thy handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38 , KJV).
The Old Testament law stated that Mary would be stoned if she had become pregnant and was not married. Even though Mary was a virgin and did not have sex before marriage but became impregnated as a miracle by God, she still was obedient and endured false accusation by others to do what was right. Because Joseph heeded the angel’s words to him that Mary would conceive a son by the Holy Spirit, he took Mary as his wife and did not bring shame upon her (Matt 1:19-24 NIV).
Mary glorified the Lord in Luke 1: 46-55 and was an example of how to praise and worship our Lord with all our heart. She also became a devoted, godly mother and raised her son, Jesus. She knew he was no ordinary son but the Messiah to a lost world. She kept all these in her heart and saw him grow strong in the Spirit from childhood to manhood.
She experienced the pain of childbirth but also the pain in the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah. Later she would bare the deepest pain when she would have to endure the agony of standing there witnessing her son’s death on the cross. In Luke 2:25-35 in the New International Version, Simeon stated, “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Before Jesus died, he acknowledged his mother Mary and committed her care to his friend, the beloved disciple named John (John 19: 26-27).
In Acts 1:12-14, we see the last mention of Mary in the New Testament. Here she is present in the upper room praying with other believers awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. It was a happy time of rejoicing. Her son Jesus was resurrected and was alive forevermore!
Mary stands as a woman of purity, gentleness, faithfulness, humility, obedience, and a godly mother. An example to us today.
As my Christmas gift to you, check out “All the Women of the Bible” by Herbert Lockyer to find out more about women like Mary and others. Enjoy!