We can learn a lot of valuable lessons from the mother of Jesus Christ, Mary. She is among the most profound biblical characters who had been given the honor and duty to be the mother of the Messiah and Savior of mankind. In this post, let us take a deeper look at her life and discover the precious lessons we should remember and apply in our lives.
A brief background of the life of Mary
The Hebrew name of Mary is Miriam. She is the wife of Joseph. Commonly known as the “Virgin Mary,” she miraculously gave birth to Yahshua or Jesus while she was still betrothed to Joseph. As this might be the case, Mary did not remain a virgin after Christ’s birth as she had other children after giving birth to Jesus (Mark 6:3).
While Mary, the mother of Jesus, is among the most popular characters in the Bible, little is known of her personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3 which shows us that she came from the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David.
While residing at Nazareth with her parents and before she became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel made a proclamation that Mary would become the mother of the prophesied Messiah.
With this in mind, let us now come to the important lessons we can learn from the life of Mary.
Lesson no. 1: Virginity is a wonderful gift to your future spouse
Mary grew up with sexual purity. She remained virgin up until she came together with his husband, Joseph. While saving yourself for your future spouse might not be popular today, it is highly important to God.
God created sex, male and female. Sex is not evil. God wants His children to ENJOY sex. However, many people corrupt the true purpose of this amazing gift. They pervert the gift of sex and transform it into lewdness, filthiness, and worse of all, an instrument to commit sin. No wonder we hear a lot of deadly infectious diseases caused by promiscuity, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, and other immoral sexual acts. Not only that, but devastating heartbreaks and life-changing consequences of sin have destroyed people’s lives.
In the life of Mary, we have seen the importance of staying as a virgin until your wedding night. It is the most romantic love story for two individuals to respect their future spouse right even before they ever meet. And on that wedding day, you can lovingly express your devotion to your spouse by giving something precious and special to your relationship, your virginity.
Mary would have not been chosen to be the Messiah’s mother if she didn’t live up to the standards of God. Her purity, innocence, and commitment to waiting for the right time made her a blessing not only to her husband, but to the rest of mankind!
Lesson no. 2: God’s prophecy is sure to come to pass
For the Jews in the days of Mary, they had been waiting for the promised Savior of their nation. Many prophecies had been made regarding the coming of the Redeemer of the world. Indeed, when the time had come to fulfill the prophecy, God did not fail His people.
Though hundreds of years may pass and people may grow impatient, you can always count on God’s promises and prophecy.
In the life of Mary, we have seen how God fulfilled the many prophecies not just about Christ’s birth, but also about His life, death, and resurrection.
This is proof to you and me that God is the living God. Whatever He says, it will come to pass (Isaiah 46:9-10). In the same manner, we can always hold on the promises of God that He mentioned in the Bible. We can have the complete and strong confidence in every word that He says.
Lesson no. 3: Mary had an in-depth knowledge and understanding of God
After Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel and her relative, Elizabeth, she made a song recorded in Luke 1:46-55. Without the proper knowledge of God, it would be impossible to write a song like this. Every single phrase of the song was inspired by knowing the Old Testament. She knew about God’s character, about His commandments, justice, love, and mercy toward His people.
In the same way, we as Christians, are expected to have the right knowledge of God’s word and the understanding of His plan and purpose in our lives. We can’t simply follow God if we don’t know what He expects from us or what He wants us to do. We need to read the Bible every day and make it a habit to study God’s word.
Lesson no. 4: We need to completely follow the will of God
When the Angel Gabriel announced that Mary will become a mother to Jesus, it is not just a privilege and honor, but a duty and challenge. In a society where promiscuous women are condemned and looked down upon, it is not easy to have a child with no apparent father. People will judge Mary and call her with all types of names to portray her unfaithfulness. So bad that even Joseph thought of putting her away in private or secret (Matthew 1:19).
However, we have seen the boldness of Mary. After hearing Angel Gabriel’s statement, she made an astounding response: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).
Did we just see the faith and strength in that statement? Instead of arguing with the Angel Gabriel, questioning the wisdom of God, or worrying about the dire consequences of this proclamation, she went on to say, “BE IT UNTO ME ACCORDING TO THY WORD!”
Can you imagine Mary telling her parents that she was pregnant? Can you imagine Mary telling Joseph that she was already pregnant before their wedding day? Can you imagine the shame that could have befallen Mary by just accepting this great responsibility from God? I hope you can now see the IMPACT of what was just announced to Mary.
There’s no doubt; Mary is a strong, brave, and devoted woman. In a very young age, she had the audacity to accept God’s will in her life and we must too.
Lesson no. 5: Abortion is not the answer
Here’s something to think about: what if the millions of women who decided to abort and terminate their child would simply say, “Be it unto me?” What if out of respect to God, the giver of life and the recognition of the preciousness of life, a woman would say, “Be it unto me?”
We know that Mary did not plan her pregnancy. In the same way, many women today did not plan their pregnancy. But instead of keeping the child in their womb, they choose to destroy the life within them. It is true that this can be a very sensitive topic to some people and the decision of keeping a child or not can significantly impact their lives, it does not change the fact that life is precious and it is something that we must cherish, respect, and preserve.
Lesson no. 6: Following God does not always mean a life of comfort
Now, here’s what we need to remember and something that preachers of the Prosperity Gospel should understand: following God does not always mean that we will have a comfortable life. It doesn’t mean that we will be physically prosperous and wealthy. In fact, Jesus said that we must ENDURE until the end to be saved! Matthew 24:14 clearly tells us that.
How did Mary demonstrate this fact? After receiving the news from Angel Gabriel, Mary had to face the consequences of her decision. Though Mary knew that she will face ridicule, she followed God and let Him work in her life.
When Mary finally had to tell Joseph about the pregnancy, what happened? Did Joseph believe her? Did Joseph receive the news with gladness?
We read that Joseph, though a just man, wanted to “to put her away secretly” (Matthew 1:20). WHAT A HEARTBREAK! It could be the most painful thing to happen to Mary at this time. All her life, she was devoted to God. She made a decision that she will keep herself pure. Now, here’s the man, whom she was betrothed with and will eventually marry, and he did NOT believe her. How painful is that to have her character questioned and the story she just told.
Thankfully, an angel of the Lord confirmed the veracity of Mary’s amazing story. Joseph now believed Mary that the child in her womb is of God.
Now that they were married, the problem did not end there. People around them could count. Mary was at least three months pregnant when she was married. People would know that Mary was already pregnant before their wedding day. Yes, the angel told Joseph about the divine pregnancy of Mary, but not all the people around them!
For the rest of Mary’s life, she has to live with the ridicule and condemnation of her neighbor. She had to deal with the thought that many people in their community thought of her as someone who committed the sin of fornication and Jesus would also suffer because of that.
At the end of the day, it is always better to suffer for God rather than being comfortable and not doing God’s will in our lives.
Mary, a woman of faith, courage, and strength, did not let herself be defeated by the challenges and problems that surrounded her. She got her eyes fixed on God, His promises, and the eternal life she would obtain when Jesus would finally return here on earth to establish God’s kingdom!
Lesson no. 7: We need to be ready to be used by God
We are called Christians not just to warm our seats during church services. In reality, we are called to do a work. We are called to live a life according to the will and purpose of God.
When God called Mary to be the mother of Christ, we can see that she gave up a portion of her life to take care of the Savior of all mankind. In the same way, God will use us to further His purpose in this world. And when that time comes, we must be ready to surrender our lives in God’s hands. Being used by God does not just mean doing big and significant things. It can also be about doing even the littlest good work that we do every day.
Lesson no. 8: Nothing is impossible to God
The conception of Jesus Christ is of itself a great miracle. Through the power of God, the Holy Spirit, Christ was conceived (Luke 1:35). From this story, we can see that nothing is really impossible to God.
So often, God demonstrates His power by opening the womb of barren women. This has been the case in Sarah, the wife of Abraham and Hannah, the mother of Samuel. And now, during the announcement of Angel Gabriel, he made known to Mary that Elizabeth, her relative, had also conceived a son in her old age.
Elizabeth was known in her community as barren and could not able to get pregnant (Luke 1:36). But God miraculously healed her barrenness and let her conceived a son who will later become John, the baptizer.
The Angel Gabriel then made a powerful statement. He said, “For with God NOTHING will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
Isn’t it amazing that we serve a God who can do anything? A God that is almighty, omniscient, powerful, and supreme? Yet, at the same time, we can dearly call Him, Abba, Father. Since nothing is impossible to God, we can always boldly come to His Holy Throne of Grace and make our requests known. As long as we ask God things that are according to His will and purpose, He will hear us.
Lesson no. 9: Humility brings us closer to God
The Bible consistently condemns pride and arrogance. If a person is full of himself, God won’t be able to use him. Every servant of God mentioned in the Bible needs to be humbled first before He can work with them. A person who sees himself to be more important than God would not be able to completely follow God.
This is what we can see in the life of Mary. In Luke 1:48, we read:
“For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me.”
Mary is a humble servant of God. Though Mary is no one in the eyes of man, she is someone in the eyes of God. Truly, our worth is found in God’s eyes. How people judge us is nothing compared to how we stand with God. At the end of the day, it is what God thinks of us that really matters.
We further read in the song of Mary that God has “scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly” (Luke 1:51-52).
This confirmed the saying of James when He said, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).
Lesson no. 10: We need to be completely devoted to God and Jesus Christ
When Jesus was crucified, it was only Mary, a few women and the Apostle John who remained. All the other disciples and followers of Christ deserted Him. Just when Jesus needed His disciples the most, that was the time when they were not present.
However, we can see that Mary wasn’t afraid of the Roman soldiers, the religious authority, or the Jews. She faithfully stayed with Christ as a mother and follower at the same time. She was completely devoted to Christ that even in the midst of “walking in the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalms 23:4), she held firm to her faith and courageously watched the suffering and death of His beloved Son.
After Christ’s death, we see that Mary stayed with the followers of Christ. She remained faithful and held fast to the teachings of Christ. We read about the commitment of Mary in Acts 1:14 where it says, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Lesson. No. 11: Mary recognized the authority of Jesus Christ
In such a rare occasion, we see the only time when Mary made an imperative command. During the wedding in Cana, they run out of wine. Mary brought this problem to Jesus’ attention. Jesus said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” I believe this is among the most remarkable recorded statement of Mary that every Christian should take heed. Talking to the servants, she said, “Whatever He says to you, DO IT” (John 2:4-5).
Here’s an important lesson we need to learn. The focus was never on Mary. The focus was on Christ. Mary led people to Christ. It was never about herself, but about God, Jesus, and their purpose.
And because these people followed Christ, what happened? Water turned into wine. A miracle can happen. It happened during their time, and it can happen today. As long as we follow God, we will see great miracles and also blessings in our lives.
Lesson no. 12: We should not worship Mary
There’s no doubt; it’s a great honor to be the mother of the Messiah. This has led many people to believe that in order for them to get closer to Jesus, they need to get closer to Mary as well. Most people are too devoted to Mary that they made her a god almost equal to God the Father and Jesus Christ. People assigned certain days dedicated to her, prayed and kneeled before her, and even called her a god.
The veneration of Mary is unbiblical. It is something born out of paganism. We need to recognize that Mary is human, like any of us. And any human who dies will remain in the grave and unconscious until the return of Christ. Mary is NOT in heaven like most people believe. Like other saints, prophets, and servants of God, Mary is dead and unconscious. She is also waiting for the voice of Jesus and call out her name and be resurrected on the last trumpet (John 1:28; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; I Corinthians 15:51-52).
Jesus Christ, Himself said, “No one has ascended into heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13).
Our worship and devotion should be directed to God the Father and Jesus Christ – not to Mary or any dead saint. While it is true that Mary should not be worshiped, she should also not to be ignored. The many valuable lessons in her life should remind us how we should be Christians in this modern age.
These are the important lessons we need to learn from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I hope that we don’t just know of them but also apply them in our daily lives.