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Mary, the mother of Jesus the Christ

Hebrew: Miriam.

Mary was the wife of Joseph and the mother of Jesus Christ, who was conceived within her by the Holy Spirit when she was a virgin. She is often called the “Virgin Mary,” though never in Scripture are those two words put together as a proper name (Matthew 2:11; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27; Acts 1:14).

Little is known of her personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3 (see below). She was of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David (Psalm 132:11; Luke 1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:36).

While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:35).

After this she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was living with her husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah (Joshua 15:55; 21:16), in the neighborhood of Maon), at a considerable distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the mother of her Lord, and then immediately gave her hymn of thanksgiving (Luke 1:46-56; compare 1 Samuel 2:1-10). After three months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home.

Joseph was supernaturally made aware (Matthew 1:18-25) of her condition, and took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus (Luke 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were there they found shelter (Luke 2:6-7). There she brought forth her son, who was called Jesus (Matthew 1:21), because he was to save his people from their sins.

This was followed by the presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and their return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matthew 2). There for thirty years Mary, the wife of Joseph the carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering over the strange things that had happened to her. During these years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, viz., his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his being found among the doctors in the temple (Luke 2:41-52). Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not again mentioned.

After the commencement of our Lord’s public ministry little notice is taken of Mary. She was present at the marriage in Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum (Matthew 12:46, 48-49), where Christ uttered the memorable words, “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!” The next time we find her is at the cross along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and other women (John 19:26). From that hour John took her to his own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room after the Ascension (Acts 1:14). From this time she wholly disappears from public notice. The time and manner of her death are unknown.

Mary’s geneaology

Mary ➤ HeliMatthatLeviMelchiJannaJosephMattathiah (Mattathias)AmosNahum ➤ Esli ➤ Naggai ➤ MaathMattathiah (Mattathias)SemeiJosephJudahJoannas (Joanna)RhesaZerubbabelShealtielNeriMelchiAddiCosamElmodamEr ➤ Jose ➤ Eliezer ➤ Jorim ➤ MatthatLeviSimeonJudahJoseph ➤ Jonan ➤ EliakimMelea ➤ Menan ➤ Mattathah ➤ NathanKING DAVIDJesseObedBoazSalmonNahshonAmminadabRamHezronPerezJudahJacobIsaacABRAHAMTerahNahorSerug ➤ Reu ➤ PelegEberShelahCainanArphaxadShemNOAHLamechMethuselahEnochJaredMahalalel (Mahalaleel)CainanEnosh (Enos)SethADAM (created by God).

Mary’s father was Heli. Mary was a direct descendant of King David which gave Jesus the right to ascend the Jewish throne, both through Mary and through adoption by his foster father, Joseph. Mary’s genealogy is supplied in Luke 3:23-38. Dr. Henry Morris explains how we know this genealogy is Mary’s:

Joseph was clearly the son of Jacob (Matthew 1:16, so this verse [Luke 3:23—says “son of Heli”] should be understood to mean “son-in-law of Heli.” Thus, the genealogy of Christ in Luke is actually the genealogy of Mary, while Matthew gives that of Joseph. Actually, the word “son” is not in the original, so it would be legitimate to supply either “son” or “son-in-law” in this context. Since Matthew and Luke clearly record much common material, it is certain that neither one could unknowingly incorporate such a flagrant apparent mistake as the wrong genealogy in his record. As it is, however, the two genealogies show that both parents were descendants of DavidJoseph through Solomon (Matthew 1:7-15), thus inheriting the legal right to the throne of David, and Mary through Nathan (Luke 3:23-31), her line thus carrying the seed of David, since Solomon’s line had been refused the throne because of Jechoniah’s sin[Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defender’s Study Bible, note for Luke 3:23 (Iowa Falls, Iowa: World Publishing, Inc., 1995).].

Jesus not produced by sexual intercourse

Jesus Christ was not produced in Mary’s womb as a result of sexual intercourse with a man (Mormonism claims that Mary had sex with Adam). Nor did Mary physically have sex with God (as Islam claims of Christianity). Jesus Christ's conception was a special and unique miracle of God.

Mary’s other children

Mary’s other sons included Joses (Joseph), James, Judas (Judah, Jude) (not Judas Iscariot), and Simon (not Simon Peter). There were daughters, as well, but they are not named in Scripture (Matthew 13:55-56; Mark 6:3).

Was Mary’s DNA a part of Jesus?

Think this through carefully. Ever since the Creation, each subsequent human life has been created at the moment of conception. The new person, complete with eternal soul, wondrously begins at the moment the DNA of a man and woman combine. This was not the case with Jesus. Prior to his birth as that baby Jesus in Bethlehem, He was a person in spirit form, part of the Trinity that is God. He is called “The Word,” and He existed BEFORE the Creation of the world. In fact, the Apostle John revealed that He is the person of the Trinity that created the universe (John 1).

“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3)

Although Jesus the Christ was clearly legally related to both parents (to Mary, by being formed in her womb—by God, and to Joseph by legal adoption), He was not genetically related to them—or to his brothers and sisters. Why? He did not originate from the dust of the Earth, as we do through Adam. The body of Jesus was clearly a special creation of God, placed in Mary’s womb (Hebrews 10:5—“…a body hast thou [God] prepared me…”). This is the biblical doctrine of incarnation and the virgin birth.

Like Adam, Jesus was not part of any previous human being. Both were also untainted humans, without a sin nature or sinful flesh and able to stand in God’s Holy presence. Jesus is just as fully human as Adam. Thus, Jesus is called the Second Adam (and the Last Adam—1 Corinthians 15:45-4). The Second Adam was the solution humanity desperately needed (Romans 5:12-19).

For thousands of years, every human child has been born with an inherited sin nature and sinful flesh (Romans 8:3). This is the result of our sinful first parents, Adam and Eve from whom we genetically descended. Each generation has sinned (Romans 3:23) and passed on its sinful nature and the curse of death, to each succeeding generation. This is the biblical doctrine of imputation of sin (Romans 5:12-19). And “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:5).

Although Jesus grew in the womb of Mary, apparently in the same manner as any normal baby, His source was Heavenly, different from all other human babies. He could not be from the egg of Mary, for she had the inherited sin nature and curse of death that is somehow passed through our DNA—and causing us all to die. Jesus was absolutely PURE and SINLESS. He had to be flawless, since His purpose was to serve as the spotless LAMB of God, without blemish, a worthy sacrifice to pay for our sins (John 1:29).

In summary, it is apparent that neither Christ’s spirit nor his body resulted from the DNA of Mary; she was a vessel, not the source. Like all people, Mary’s DNA contained inherited genetic defects and our sin nature. Our Creator was incarnated (given a HOLY fetal human body) by the Holy Spirit and the power of the Father (Luke 1:35)—a body as human as Adam’s, before sin—totally pure and righteous. He grew and lived a SINLESS life and then died for our sins, and arose, defeating the penalty of eternal death for us and ulimately regain Paradise for his people. So amazing is our Creator and Savior!