Women of the Bible - Mary

     A Woman with a Yielded Heart
     by Kathryn Capoccia

     Young Adults Sunday School Class
     
     All Scripture references are taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW
     INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York Bible Society, used by
     permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

 Copyright Kathy Capoccia 2000.  This file may be freely copied, printed out,
and distributed as long as copyright and source statements remain intact,
and that it is not sold.

 I. Introduction

     A. Singing

        "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms"

     B. Opening Prayer

     C. Review of Last Week's Lesson/Verse

        1. Purpose of Bible study
        2. Principles of Bible study
        3. Memory verse:  Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD and he
           will give you the desires of your heart."

II. Character Profile: Mary, A Woman with a Yielded Heart

     A. Who was she?

        1. A Woman visited by an angel

           LUK 1:26-38  "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to
           Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to
           a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was
           Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are
           highly favored! The Lord is with you.'"

           a) Who was this angel?

              1) Gabriel "God is great":  one of two angels named in the
                 Bible ( the archangel Michael is the other ); a
                 supernatural messenger/ announcer from God.

              2) The angel who delivered and interpreted visions to Daniel
                 (Dan 8:16; 9:21).

              3) The angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth
                 of John the Baptist (Luk 1:11-20).

           b)  Why was this significant?

              1) Angels appeared only rarely

              2) This announcement by the angel came after 400 years of
                 prophetic silence (from Malachi to the Gospels)

           c) What was mankind's response to the supernatural?

              1] Terror

              DAN 10:7-9  "I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision;
              the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed
              them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone,
              gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face
              turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him
              speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep,
              my face to the ground."

              MAT 28:4 "The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and
              became like dead men."

              LUK 2:9  "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory
              of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified."

              2] Awareness of one's own sinfulness

              ISA 6:5  "'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man
              of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips,
              and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.'"

              LUK 5:8  "When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees
              and said, 'Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!'"

           d) What was Mary's response?

              She was greatly agitated

              LUK 1:29  "Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered
              what kind of greeting this might be."

        2. A Resident of Nazareth

           a) A town in northern Israel, in Galilee, half-way between the
              Sea of Galilee and Mt. Carmel; the name may mean "separated"
              or "branch".

           b) A town with an unfavorable reputation:

              JOH 1:46 "'Nazareth! Can anything good come from
              there?'"Nathanael asked. 'Come and see,'" said Philip."

              MAT 2:23 "And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So
              was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: 'He will be
              called a Nazarene.'" i.e., despised.

           c) A town that may have had a Gentile/ Samaritan populace
              (Samaritans were despised as half-breed Jews and avoided)

              JOH 8:48  "The Jews answered him, 'Aren't we right in saying
              that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?'"

              MAT 4:15  "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to
              the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--"

        3. A Woman who was a virgin

           a) What was a virgin?

              A woman who had not experienced sexual intercourse with a man;
              GRK "a man had not known her"

           b) What significance did this have?

              1) Socially

                 a] inheritance lines were simplified (Lev 21:14)

                 b] a woman was considered desirable if chaste (Est 2:2-4)

                 c] impurity was punishable by Law

                    DEU 22:20,21 "If, however, the charge is true and no
                    proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be
                    brought to the door of her father's house and there the
                    men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a
                    disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while
                    still in her father's house. You must purge the evil
                    from among you."

              2) Prophetically

                 ISA 7:14 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth
                 to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

                 Only a virgin could have been qualified to bear the child
                 of the prophecy.

        4. A Woman pledged (or betrothed) to be married to Joseph.

           LUK 1:27 ..."to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named
           Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary."


           a) Betrothal meant:

              1) A binding marriage contract had been entered into by two
                 individuals and their families - to be consummated in the
                 future (at least a year from the formal agreement).

              2) The individuals could have been as young as 12 1/2 years
                 old for the woman and 18 years old for the man.

              3) Any impurity occurring during the betrothal period was
                 regarded as a act of adultery and punished accordingly:
                 in all eyes from the betrothal onward they were married.

           b) Joseph was:

              1) A descendant of David : a direct lineal claimant to the
                 throne of David, King of Israel (Mat 1:1-16)

              2) A carpenter

                 MAT 13:55 "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his
                 mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph,
                 Simon and Judas?"

              3) A righteous man

                 MAT 1:19 "Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man
                 and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had
                 in mind to divorce her quietly."

              4) A poor man

                 They offered"... a sacrifice in keeping with what is said
                 in the Law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two young
                 pigeons' "(Luk 2:24). This was the sacrifice allowed
                 someone too poor to offer a lamb at "the issue of blood" at
                 birth (Lev 13:8).

        5. A Woman named "Mary", a sweet fragrance

           a) Her name means "myrrh"; a plant from which a deliciously
              fragrant and valuable oil is extracted

           b) Her "family tree"

              1) Elizabeth, wife of Zachariah (Levite and priest) and mother
                 of John the Baptist

              2) King David (through her Father's line) (Luk 3:23-38)

              3) Her sister, Mary the wife of Clopas (Joh 20:25)

              4) Her children (Mat 13:55)

                 a] James: became head of the Church at Jerusalem, a "pillar
                    of the Church"

                 b] Joses

                 c] Simon

                 d] Jude: author of one of the New Testament epistles

                 e] unnamed daughters

                 f] The Apostle John (Joh 19:26,27) by mutual adoption

                    "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom
                    he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, 'Dear
                    woman, here is your son,'" and to the disciple, 'Here is
                    your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her
                    into his home."

     B.  What did she do ?

        1. She was chosen to bear the Messiah (Luk 1:31,33)

           MAT 1:16 "...Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

           LUK 2:11 "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to
           you; he is Christ the Lord. 31 You will be with child and give
           birth to a son, and you are to give him the name 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
           reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never
           end."

           a) Why was she chosen?

              1) She was sovereignly picked by God for His purposes

              2) She was a woman of character

                 a] She is commended as one who is "highly favored", someone
                    that ..."the Lord is with...", and one who had ..."found
                    favor with God" (Luk 1:28-30)

                 b] She had a submissive heart toward God

                    LUK 1:38 "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May
                    it be to me as you have said.'"

                 c] She believed God

                    i] She went to see Elizabeth when the angel told her
                       that Elizabeth's pregnancy was a confirming sign

                       LUK 1:36 "Even Elizabeth your relative is going to
                       have a child in her old age, and she who was said to
                       be barren is in her sixth month."

                       LUK 1:39 "At that time Mary got ready and hurried to
                       a town in the hill country of Judea, where she
                       entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth."

                   ii] Elizabeth praised her for her faith

                       LUK 1:45 "Blessed is she who has believed that what
                       the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

                 d] She worshiped God (Luk 1:46-49)

                    LUK 1:46 "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord
                    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been
                    mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on
                    all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One
                    has done great things for me-- holy is his name'".

                 e] She was a student of the Scriptures

                    LUK 1:50-55 "His mercy extends to those who fear him,
                    from generation to generation. He has performed mighty
                    deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud
                    in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers
                    from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has
                    filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich
                    away empty. He has helped his servant Israel,
                    remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his
                    descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."

           b) Who was the Messiah or Christ to be?

              1) By definition: the "Anointed One," the one especially
                 prepared by God

              2) According to the Scriptures

                 a] The "Seed" of Adam and Eve

                    GEN 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the
                    woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will
                    crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

                 b] A Redeemer

                    JOB 19:25 "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in
                    the end he will stand upon the earth."

                 c] A Prophet

                    DEU 18:15 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a
                    prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must
                    listen to him."

                 d] A Priest according to the order of Melchizedek

                    PSA 110:4 "The LORD has sworn and will not change his
                    mind: 'You are a priest forever, in the order of
                    Melchizedek.'"

                 e] A Judge

                    PSA 110:6 "He will judge the nations, heaping up the
                    dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth."

                 f] From the line of Judah

                    GEN 49:10 "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor
                    the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes
                    to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is
                    his."

                 g] The Son of David

                    2SA 7:16 "Your house and your kingdom will endure
                    forever before me; your throne will be established
                    forever."

                    ISA 11:1 "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
                    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit."

                    JER 33:15 "In those days and at that time I will make a
                    righteous Branch sprout from David's line..."

                    JER 33:17 "For this is what the LORD says: 'David will
                    never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the
                    house of Israel.'"

                 h] A Suffering Savior

                    ISA 53:4,5 "Surely he took up our infirmities and
                    carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by
                    God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced
                    for our transgressions, he was crushed for our
                    iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was
                    upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

                    ISA 53:10,11 "Yet it was the LORD'S will to crush him
                    and cause him to suffer... After the suffering of his
                    soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by
                    his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
                    and he will bear their iniquities."

                 i] A Righteous King

                    ISA 9:7 "Of the increase of his government and peace
                    there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne
                    and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with
                    justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
                    The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

                    EZE 37:24 "'My servant David will be king over them, and
                    they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my
                    laws and be careful to keep my decrees."

                    JER 33:15 "In those days and at that time I will make a
                    righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do
                    what is just and right in the land."

                    LUK 1:32 "He will be great... The Lord God will give him
                    the throne of his father David, and he will reign over
                    the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."


                 j] Redeemer of Israel

                    LUK 1:68 "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
                    because he has come and has redeemed his people."

                 k] God in Flesh

                    ISA 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a
                    sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth
                    to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

                    ISA 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is
                    given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And
                    he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
                    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

                 l] THE Son of God

                    LUK 1:32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of
                    the Most High."

                    LUK 1:35 "The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come
                    upon 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.'"

                    PSA 2:6,7 "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy
                    hill. I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to
                    me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father.'"

                    PSA 2:12 "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be
                    destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a
                    moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

                 m] The Son of Man

                    DAN 7:13,14 "In my vision at night I looked, and there
                    before me was one like a son of man, coming with the
                    clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and
                    was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory
                    and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of
                    every language worshiped him. His dominion is an
                    everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his
                    kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."

              3) According to tradition

                 a] He would be of David's family (Rom 1:3)

                 b] He would come from an unknown place

                    JOH 7:27 "... when the Christ comes, no one will know
                    where he is from."

                 c] He would know all things

                    JOH 4:25 "The woman said, 'I know that Messiah' (called
                    Christ) 'is coming. When he comes, he will explain
                    everything to us.'"

                 d] He would come to rule Israel and restore her

                    ACT 1:6 "So when they met together, they asked him,
                    'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom
                    to Israel?'"

                    JOH 12:13 "They took palm branches and went out to meet
                    him, shouting, 'Hosanna!' 'Blessed is he who comes in
                    the name of the Lord!' 'Blessed is the King of Israel!'"

           c) What was Mary's reaction to this?

              1) Agitation

                 a] She was troubled

                    i] To be addressed by an angel

                   ii] To be hailed as "highly favored" and as one that "the
                       Lord is with"

                 b] She was fearful of what the angel meant

                    LUK 1:28 "The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings,
                    you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'"

                    LUK 1:29 "Mary was greatly troubled at his words and
                    wondered what kind of greeting this might be."

                 c] She received reassurance

                    i] The angel spoke words of comfort (Luk 1:30)

                       LUK 1:30 "But the angel said to her, 'Do not be
                       afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.'"

                   ii] The angel gave her proof of his truthfulness in the
                        example of Elizabeth

                       LUK 1:36,37 "Even Elizabeth your relative is going to
                       have a child in her old age, and she who was said to
                       be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is
                       impossible with God."

              2) Wonder/Incredulity

                 LUK 1:34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I
                 am a virgin?"

              3) Submission

                 LUK 1:38 "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it
                 be to me as you have said.'"

                 * She could have been fearful, as a betrothed woman, to be
                 pregnant since the penalty for lewdness was death (Deu
                 22:20-21) but she showed her great faith and trust in the
                 sovereignty of God by her answer.

              4) Joy

                 LUK 1:46-48 "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord
                 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been
                 mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all
                 generations will call me blessed.'"

                 WHY WOULD SHE BE JOYFUL?

                 a] To obey God brings delight to the soul

                 b] To become the mother of the Messiah was the greatest
                    honor any Jewish woman could have

                    i] He would be the greatest King Israel ever had

                   ii] The mother of the Messiah would be considered the
                       greatest mother in Israel

              5) Adoration

                 LUK 1:46 "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord
                 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been
                 mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all
                 generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has
                 done great things for me-- holy is his name. His mercy
                 extends to those who fear him, from generation to
                 generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he
                 has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
                 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has
                 lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good
                 things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his
                 servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and
                 his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.'"

           d) How did this occur?

              1) Divine orchestration

                 GAL 4:4,5 "But when the time had fully come, God sent his
                 Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under
                 law, that we might receive the full rights of sons."

                 a] God arranged events

                    i] He caused Mary to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit (Luk
                       1:35)

                   ii] Gabriel reassured Joseph about the suitability of
                       marrying Mary (when he considered divorcing her)

                       MAT 1:20 "But after he had considered this, an angel
                       of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
                       'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary
                       home as your wife, because what is conceived in her
                       is from the Holy Spirit.'"

                  iii] A census called by Caesar Augustus forced all Jews to
                       register in their ancestral birthplaces, thus moving
                       Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

                       LUK 2:1 "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a
                       decree that a census should be taken of the entire
                       Roman world."

                       LUK 2:3,4 "And everyone went to his own town to
                       register. So Joseph also went up from the town of
                       Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town
                       of David, because he belonged to the house and line
                       of David."

                       MIC 5:2 "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."

                   iv] Joseph took Mary with him to Bethlehem, thus placing
                       Mary in the city of David near the end of her
                       pregnancy.

                       LUK 2:5,6 "He went there to register with Mary, who
                       was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a
                       child. While they were there, the time came for the
                       baby to be born."

                       * This must have been difficult for Mary to do: she
                       was very close to full-term in her pregnancy so
                       travel would have been uncomfortable and wearying;
                       she left her family and midwives behind so she would
                       be subject to strangers' help, if any, for her
                       delivery; the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem meant
                       climbing upward for several days- yet we see Mary
                       submitting to her earthly husband without question.

                    v] There were no accommodations available (because of
                       the crowding due to others coming to register?) so
                       they ended up in a stable for the birth.

                       LUK 2:7 "and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
                       She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
                       because there was no room for them in the inn."

                       * Again we see the submissive nature of Mary in that
                       she accepted these conditions, which must have been,
                       at best, rude, uncomfortable, and exposed, as the
                       will of God.

                   vi] Shepherds were in the fields nearby (this indicates
                       that it was cool because otherwise they would be in
                       the country) so they could be summoned to witness the
                       arrival of the Christ.

                       LUK 2:8 "And there were shepherds living out in the
                       fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at
                       night."

                       LUK 2:9-11 "An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
                       and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they
                       were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not
                       be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that
                       will be for all the people. Today in the town of
                       David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the
                       Lord.'"

                       LUK 2:15-17 "When the angels had left them and gone
                       into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
                       'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has
                       happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they
                       hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby,
                       who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him,
                       they spread the word concerning what had been told
                       them about this child."

                  vii] Wise Men, or Magi, came to Jerusalem to recognize
                       "the King of the Jews" and present Him with costly
                       gifts.

                       MAT 2:1,2 "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in
                       Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the
                       east came to Jerusalem  and asked, 'Where is the one
                       who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star
                       in the east and have come to worship him.'"

                       MAT 2:11 "On coming to the house, they saw the child
                       with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and
                       worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and
                       presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and
                       of myrrh."

                 viii] Herod the Great, the king of Judea and a man so
                       jealous of his throne that he had some of his sons
                       murdered to prevent their ascension to the throne,
                       regarded the Christ as another potential threat and
                       moved to eliminate Him (thus sending Mary, Joseph and
                       Jesus to Egypt so that the Scripture "out of Egypt I
                       called My Son" could be fulfilled
                       (Mat 2:15).

                       MAT 2:3 "When King Herod heard this he was disturbed,
                       and all Jerusalem with him."

                       MAT 2:16 "When Herod realized that he had been
                       outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave
                       orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its
                       vicinity who were two years old and under, in
                       accordance with the time he had learned from the
                       Magi."

                 b] God chose the participants

                    i] Mary and Joseph; descendants of King David, were
                       chosen to be the Child's parents - they were poor
                       people from an unimportant town but were rich in
                       faith and in the direct line of ascension to the
                       throne of David.

                   ii] The shepherds; those men who kept sheep for sacrifice
                       and sheering - the social outcasts of Jewish society
                       because they could not keep the ceremonial laws or
                       religious festivals -these were summoned to behold
                       the birth of the Perfect Sacrifice.

                  iii] Wise Men from the East; they came from the East,
                       following a special star that appeared at the time of
                       Christ's birth - these were astrologers, probably
                       descendants of the Medes, whom Daniel taught about
                       the true God (Dan 2:27, 5:11), whose function was to
                       make or officially recognize kings - these came to
                       worship the fulfillment of the Scriptures.

                       MAT 2:1,2 "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in
                       Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the
                       east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one
                       who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star
                       in the east and have come to worship him.'"

                       MAT 2:7-12 "Then Herod called the Magi secretly and
                       found out from them the exact time the star had
                       appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and
                       make a careful search for the child. As soon as you
                       find him, report to me, so that I too may go and
                       worship him.' After they had heard the king, they
                       went on their way, and the star they had seen in the
                       east went ahead of them until it stopped over the
                       place where the child was. When they saw the star,
                       they were overjoyed. On coming to the house they saw
                       the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down
                       and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures
                       and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense
                       and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not
                       to go back to Herod, they returned to their country
                       by another route."

                   iv] Herod the Great; this man was an expert at survival,
                       and the safety of his throne was his obsession. When
                       he heard the Wise Men he quickly responded in
                       character to this new threat by ordering the deaths
                       of the infant boys of Bethlehem and it's environs and
                       God sent His Son to safety in Egypt.

              2) Celestial affirmation

                 a] Angels proclaimed the birth

                    LUK 2:9 "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the
                    glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were
                    terrified."

                    LUK 2:10-12 "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be
                    afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be
                    for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior
                    has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will
                    be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths
                    and lying in a manger.'"

                 b] Angels praised the Father

                    LUK 2:13,14 "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly
                    host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
                    'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men
                    on whom his favor rests.'"

                 c] A star appeared at the time of the birth

                    MAT 2:9,10 "After they had heard the king, they went on
                    their way, and the star they had seen in the east went
                    ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the
                    child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed."

                    MAT 2:2 "and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born
                    king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have
                    come to worship him.'"

                    MAT 2:16 "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted
                    by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill
                    all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two
                    years old and under, in accordance with the time he had
                    learned from the Magi."

                 d] An angel of the Lord warned them of danger to Jesus

                    MAT 2:13 "When they had gone, an angel of the Lord
                    appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up,' he said, 'take
                    the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there
                    until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the
                    child to kill him.'"

                 e] An angel of the Lord told them to return to Israel after
                    the danger had passed.

                    MAT 2:19-21 "After Herod died, an angel of the Lord
                    appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 'Get
                    up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of
                    Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's
                    life are dead.'" So he got up, took the child and his
                    mother and went to the land of Israel."

        2. She was chosen to raise the Messiah

           a) To protect Him - they obeyed the Lord when told to flee for
              the safety of the child, and to find a safe home for Him in
              Israel upon their return.

              MAT 2:13-14 "'Get up,' he said, 'take the child and his mother
              and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is
              going to search for the child to kill him.' So he   got up,
              took the child and his mother during the night and left for
              Egypt."

              MAT 2:22 "But when he [Joseph] heard that Archelaus was
              reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid
              to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the
              district of Galilee..."

           b) To provide for his physical needs

              1) They resided where Jesus would be safe and among friends
                 (in Nazareth).

              2) Joseph supported them as a carpenter (Mat 13:55)

              3) Joseph trained Jesus to be a carpenter also (Mark 6:3)

           c) To raise Him according to godliness

              1) They modeled piety

                 a] Both Mary and Joseph were full of faith and their lives
                    could not have helped reflecting their deep commitment
                    to God.

                 b] They both knew the abiding presence of God and
                    undoubtedly demonstrated their trust in Him.

                 c] They studied the Scriptures and taught them to Jesus and
                    their other children.

                    LUK 2:47 "Everyone who heard him was amazed at his
                    understanding and his answers."

                    LUK 2:52 "And Jesus grew in wisdom."

                 d] Mary meditated on what the Lord had done

                    LUK 2:33 "The child's father and mother marveled at what
                    was said about him."

                    LUK 2:19 "But Mary treasured up all these things and
                    pondered them in her heart."

                    LUK 2:51 "But his mother treasured all these things in
                    her heart."

              2) They obeyed the Law

                 a] They brought Jesus to be circumcised according to Gen
                    17:12

                    LUK 2:21 "On the eighth day, when it was time to
                    circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel
                    had given him before he had been conceived."

                 b] They brought the prescribed offering after Mary's
                    child birthing.

                    LUK 2:22-24 "When the time of their purification
                    according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph
                    and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the
                    Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, 'Every
                    firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord'), and
                    to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the
                    Law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two young
                    pigeons.'"

                 c] They went to Jerusalem for the prescribed worship days

                    LUK 2:41 "Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for
                    the Feast of the Passover."

                    JOH 7:2,3 "But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was
                    near, Jesus' brothers said to him, 'You ought to leave
                    here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the
                    miracles you do.'"

                    JOH 7:10 "However, after his brothers had left for the
                    Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret."

              3) They taught Jesus obedience

                 LUK 2:48 "[she] said to him, 'Son, why have you treated us
                 like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching
                 for you.'...LUK 2:51 "Then he went down to Nazareth with
                 them and was obedient to them."

                 WERE THEY SUCCESSFUL AS PARENTS?

                 LUK 2:52 "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in
                 favor with God and men."

        3. She was chosen to follow the Messiah

           a) Why?

              1) She was a believer committed to obeying God, and Jesus was
                 God

                 HEB 1:3 "The son is the radiance of God's glory and the
                 exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by
                 his powerful word."

                 LUK 1:28 "The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you
                 who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'"

              2) She needed a Savior

                 ROM 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory
                 of God,"

                 LUK 1:47 "and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,"

              3) Jesus commanded His disciples to follow

                 MAT 16:24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone
                 would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his
                 cross and follow me.'"

           b) How?

              1) Self-sacrificially

                 MAR 8:34 "Then he called the crowd to him along with his
                 disciples and said: 'If anyone would come after me, he must
                 deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'"

              2) Whole-heartedly

                 MAT 22:37 "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all
                 your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'"


           c) Would it be easy?

              1) She would suffer

                 LUK 2:34,35 "Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his
                 mother: 'This child is destined to cause the falling and
                 rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be
                 spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be
                 revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.'"

                 a] As a mother she would have grieved over criticism/
                    rejection of her beloved son.

                 b] As a believer and mother she would have been anguished
                    when Christ suffered and died on the cross.

              2) She would be humbled

                 a] She was regarded like any other disciple, not treated
                    with honor for being the mother of the Christ.

                    MAT 12:50 "For whoever does the will of my Father in
                    heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

                    LUK 8:20,21 "Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers
                    are standing outside, wanting to see you.' He replied,
                    'My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word
                    and put it into practice.'"

                 b] She was not regarded as the greatest disciple.

                    LUK 7:28 "I tell you, among those born of women there is
                    no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in
                    the kingdom of God is greater than he."

              3) She would make mistakes.

                 a] When Joseph and Mary took the boy Jesus to Jerusalem
                    when He was 12 they did not recognize that Jesus' first
                    allegiance was to His Heavenly Father and to doing His
                    will: they misunderstood His motives so they rebuked Him
                    (Luk 2:41-50)

                    LUK 2:48,49 "When his parents saw him, they were
                    astonished. His mother said to him, 'Son, why have you
                    treated us like this? Your father and I have been
                    anxiously searching for you.'  'Why were you searching
                    for me?' he asked. 'Didn't you know I had to be in my
                    Father's house?'"

                 b] At the wedding at Cana she made the mistake of thinking
                    that she could direct Jesus in spiritual operations
                    instead of being subject to Him.

                    JOH 2:3,4 "When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to
                    him, 'They have no more wine.' 'Dear woman, why do you
                    involve me?' Jesus replied. 'My time has not yet come.'"


                 c] Mary and her sons did not understand Jesus' ministry.

                    i] They came to take Jesus physically away from the
                       crowds because they said," He's out of His mind."

                       MAR 3:20,21 "Then Jesus entered a house, and again a
                       crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not
                       even able to eat. When his family heard about this,
                       they went to take charge of him, for they said, 'He
                       is out of his mind.'"

                   ii] Her sons did not believe in Jesus until after His
                       resurrection.

                       JOH 7:5 "For even his own brothers did not believe in
                       him."

                       WHY DIDN'T THEY BELIEVE?

                       MAR 6:4 "Jesus said to them, 'Only in his hometown,
                       among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet
                       without honor.'"

           d) Did she persevere?

              1) She followed Him throughout the Gospels.

              2) She was there at the cross.

                 JOH 19:26 "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the
                 disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his
                 mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son,'"

              3) She was there when Jesus ascended to Heaven from the Mt. of
                 Olives and joined in prayer with the rest of the disciples.

                 ACT 1:14 "They all joined together constantly in prayer,
                 along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with
                 his brothers."

     C. What can we learn from her?

        1. Spiritual maturity is not dependent upon the age of a believer.

           a) Mary was apparently quite young, being at the oldest someone
              in the latter teens, yet she evidenced a well developed faith.

           b)  Joseph was probably also young yet he was a "righteous man."

        2. Obedience is a matter of the will.

           a) Mary had filled herself with the word of God so:

              1) She could trust God knowing who He is.

              2) She could trust in God knowing what He had done.

           b) When she was presented with choices she chose to submit to
              God's will.

        3. A submissive heart is pleasing to the Lord (1 Pet 3:4)

        4. God will support a believer who is trying to live for Him.

           a) He gave reassurance to Mary.

           b) He encouraged Mary through others.

           c) He protected her from danger.

           d) His grace carried her through painful circumstances.

     D. What fruits of the Spirit can we see in her?

        1. Love

        2. Joy

        3. Peace

        4. Goodness

        5. Self-control


III. Memory Verse:  1 Peter 3:3,4

     " Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided
     hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it
     should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and
     quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

     

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Kathy Capoccia's Sunday School Lessons" by:

Tony Capoccia
Bible Bulletin Board
Box 119
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Websites: www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Email: tony@biblebb.com
Online since 1986