Mary of Nazareth is the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary when she was a young woman and betrothed to Joseph the Carpenter. Angel Gabriel told Mary God had chosen her to be the Christ child’s mother.
From Luke 1:28-38,
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary’s Psalm of Praise
Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth exclaimed that her baby leapt for joy as Mary approached, yet another witness to the Son of God Mary carried.
At this news, Luke 1:46-55, records Mary’s response.
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
When Mary returned to Nazareth, her fiancé Joseph had to grapple with what to do. Should he break the engagement quietly or did he need to publicly accuse her? In the midst of his sorrow, an angel appeared to Joseph and explained that Mary truly was virtuous and carried the Son of God. The angel’s message calmed Joseph’s fears and he supported Mary through the rest of her pregnancy.
Birth at Bethlehem
Near the end of her pregnancy, Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to obey a Roman decree to be counted and taxed. Labor pains began and Joseph found place for them in an animal shelter.
Mary gave birth to Jesus in the stable. Soon afterwards, shepherds arrived declaring that angels told them of the Christ child’s birth.
Prophesies at the Temple
Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple for circumcision and sacrifice according to the law of Moses. In the temple, Simeon and Anna both approached Mary and Jesus to bless Him and praise God.
Simeon told Mary, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).
Fleeing Bethlehem When the Wisemen Leave
Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem and met wisemen from the East who followed a star to meet Jesus. When the wisemen left Judea, the king of Judea sent armies to Bethlehem to kill every child under two years old. An angel awakened Joseph and commanded him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape the soldiers. The remained in Egypt until an angel directed them to return to Nazareth.
Losing Jesus in Jerusalem
When Jesus was 12 years old, the family went to Jerusalem for the Passover. When the rest of the family began the trip home, Jesus remained in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph searched three days for Jesus. They found Jesus teaching in the temple.
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart (Luke 2:48-51).
Turning Water to Wine at Cana
Mary encouraged Jesus to perform His first miracle at a marriage in Cana. She asked Jesus to provide wine for the wedding feast, and He did.
Mourning at Calvary
Mary stood by her son’s cross at Calvary.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home (John 19:26-27).
After Jesus Ascends
After Jesus resurrected, He spent 40 days teaching His followers. At the end of that time, Jesus ascended into heaven and His followers returned to their meeting place in Jerusalem.
Act 1:14 recorded that Mary was there, too.
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
Mary’s strength and courage to follow the will of God in the face of persecution and sorrow teaches everyone how to submit to the will of God and do His work.