The Women of Jesus // Finale
Tonight, we finish our study of the women listed in Jesus’ genealogy recorded in Matthew. Here are the five:
Wife of Uriah the Hittite
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary is easily the most famous of all the women listed. Many denominations have exalted Mary: Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox along with a few others have Marian theologies or religious practices that center around Mary.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.”
The truth of the matter is that nowhere in Scripture are we directed to exalt Mary. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that she has perpetual virginity – she was married, or that she ascended into heaven. Nowhere in Scripture are we directed to pray to her. But, she is a great example of someone who because of their simple faith was used mightily by God. Very little is told us regarding her family history. According to the Gospel of James, her parent’s names were Joachim and Anne. As a matter of fact, if you go with us to Israel, we will stop at a church called St. Anne’s and we will sing there.
According to the writer of Luke, Mary was a relative of Elizabeth, wife of the priest Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah, who was herself part of the lineage of Aaron and son of the tribe of Levi. (Luke 1 [Luke 1:5;1:36]) Some of those who consider that the relationship with Elizabeth was on the maternal side, consider that Mary, like Joseph, to whom she was betrothed, was of the royal House of David and so of the Tribe of Judah, and that the genealogy of Jesus presented in Luke 3 from Nathan, third son of David and Bathsheba, is in fact the genealogy of Mary, while the genealogy from Solomon given in Matthew 1 is that of Joseph. It is also written that her mother was barren for years and that when she was born Mary was given as a virgin servant in the Temple at Jerusalem. Some writings say she was married to Joseph between the ages of 12-14 (legal under Jewish Law). None of this is verified by the Bible. Here’s what we need to know:
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “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 has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. /// Luke 1:26-38 (NKJV)
At the time of this visitation, Mary is unknown to anyone outside her family. She is young. Not much has happened to this point. Yet, a staggering revelation is given her – revealing that something that has never happened before will happen to Mary. What would you have said to this? Mary’s response: “I am the Lord’s willing servant. Let it be unto me as you have said.” She said the “amen” to God’s word to her.
Today is a day of outrageous revelation! What will you say? You know the rest of the story. Jesus is born in a stable. Be ready for God’s miracles in unusual places! Jesus grows and the words from heaven are beginning to be fulfilled. Mary watches the wonder of God unfold right before her eyes. As things unfold, Mary realizes something about the things God has placed in her life:
She exercises no ownership over them in spite of her attachment to them.
Finally, she stands at the foot of the cross to see her dream and her love die. Can she trust God with her love? Can God resurrect her dream? We know what happened. Mary is an example of a dream resurrecting God! These women come from all backgrounds. Their lives all speak to us about the goodness of God.
- Luke 1:26-38 (NKJV)
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