Mary was an Israelites Jewish girl/woman of Nazareth in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus.
Luke’s Gospel mentions Mary most often of the Gospels, identifying her by name 12 times… all of these in the infancy narrative.
Matthew’s Gospel only mentions Mary by name 5 times, 4 of these in the infancy narrative.
Mark’s Gospel names her only once.
John’s Gospel refers to her twice, but never mentions her by name.
In the book of Acts, Luke’s second writing, Mary and the “brothers of Jesus” are mentioned in the company of the 11 who are gathered in the upper room after the ascension (Acts 1:14).
Family & Early Life
The New Testament tells little of Mary’s early history.
According to Luke, Mary was a cousin of Elizabeth, wife of the priest Zechariah.
Mary lived in “her own house” (Luke 1:56) in Nazareth of Galilee, probably with her parents.
Luke 1:26-38… Birth Announced to Mary
During her betrothal – the first stage of a Jewish marriage, similar to an engagement – the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah by conceiving Him through the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s response to the surprising will of God is a great example for us. When we are confronted by situations that might seem crazy or unfair, do we balk and complain? Or do we trust God… knowing He is good, and that He knows best?
* How you respond to unexpected events is a good measure of your faith.
Luke 1:39-56… Mary Visits Elizabeth
Matthew 1:18-25… Joseph’s – and Mary’s – Decision
After a number of months (probably 3-4), when Joseph – in a dream by “an angel of the Lord” – was told of Mary’s conception by the Holy Spirit, he was surprised. DUH! But, the angel told him to be unafraid and take Mary as his wife, which Joseph did.
Luke 2:1-20… Birth of Jesus
According to Luke’s Gospel, a decree of the Roman Emperor Augustus required that Joseph return to his family’s hometown of Bethlehem… in order to be registered for a tax. While he was there – with Mary – she gave birth to Jesus; but, because there was no place for them in the inn, she used a manger as a cradle.
Luke 2:22-38… Jesus Presented to God
After Mary continued in the “blood of her purifying” for another 33 days – for a total of 40 days, she brought her burnt offering and sin offering to the temple, so the priest could make atonement for their sins. There, they also presented Jesus. After the prophecies of Simeon and the prophetess Anna concluded, Joseph and Mary and Jesus “returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.”
Matthew 2:1-12… Visit by Wisemen
Sometime later (maybe as much as 2yrs), the “wisemen” showed up at the “house” where Jesus and His family were staying.
Matthew 2:13-15… Escape to Egypt from Herod
Matthew 2:19-21… Return to Israel after Herod’s Death
Matthew 2:22,23; Luke 2:39,40… Settling in Nazareth
Mary in the Life of Jesus
Luke 2:41-52… Jesus’ Childhood
Mary is mentioned in the only event recorded in Scripture from Jesus’ childhood. At the age of 12, Jesus, having become separated from His parents on their return journey from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem, was found among the teachers in the temple.
John 2:1-12… The Wedding in Cana
This is the only text in the Gospels in which it is recorded that Mary speaks to (and about) the adult Jesus.
John 4:14-30… Jesus Rejected at Nazareth (Mary is not mentioned)
Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21… Mary and Jesus’ Half-Brothers Send for Jesus
Mary at the Death of Jesus
John 19:25-27; Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40
Mary is depicted as being present among the women at the crucifixion. She was near enough that Jesus spoke to her from the cross… and about her to John the apostle.
After the Ascension of Jesus
In Acts 1:26, Mary is the only one – other than the 11 apostles – mentioned by name in the upper room.
Mary’s death is not recorded in Scripture. Catholic tradition and doctrine her being taken bodily into Heaven before death. This, among other things in Catholic tradition, tend to venerate the “Virgin Mary” too highly, almost equating her with Jesus Himself!
You can read Mary’s story of faith sprinkled throughout the Gospels, and in the first part of the book of Acts.