Mathew 1-2, Luke 1-2, and Acts 1:14
Mary, the Lord’s mother, is the most honored woman in the world. The first mention of her is found in Matt. 1:16, which says, “Mary, of whom was born Jesus.” [Note: it is no longer the word “begot” that is used, but it is “of whom.” This is in the feminine singular.] The meaning of Mary is trouble and sorrow - “Mara.” True to her name, Mary had many bitter experiences.
Mary was born and raised in the wicked city of Nazareth (see Luke 1:26). From that wicked place, God took the womb of this peasant woman who lived there and used it to present Himself to the world in the person of His Son. Mary was a virgin, but in her virginity she became the most blessed woman in the world, because God chose her to be the mother of the Lord (not the mother of God). Mary was a remarkable woman. She possessed unusual beauty of character. She was the purest of holiest maiden in the nation. Because of this, she was highly favored of God (“She was exalted and endowed with special honor.” - See Luke 1:28). She was God’s choice to be the mother of His Son.
Gabriel’s Visit - Notice that Gabriel did not worship Mary. He did not tell her that she was full of grace, but that she was “highly favored.” He also said in Luke 1:18, “The Lord is with you (has been – will be).” God had been preparing Mary for this great event. The maiden who would give birth to Jesus, whose breast would be His pillow, who would care for Him in infancy, and guide Him through boyhood years had to be a sanctified vessel prepared for the Master’s use (see 2 Timothy 2:21). There was only one woman in the nation who could meet the criteria. Her name was Mary.
Although Mary was so pure and was specially honored by God, she was born like any other woman, a sinner. There are many who do not believe this. They subscribe to the false doctrine of the “immaculate conception,” which means that though Mary was conceived naturally, she was free from the stain of original sin. These people also maintain that when she died, she was physically translated to heaven. Mary’s concept of herself differs greatly from this. At the height of her ecstasy, she exclaimed, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior.”
Mary’s Sorrow - Simeon’s prophecy:
Luke 2:34 “Behold this child is set for the rising and fall of many in Israel—a sign to be spoken against—a sword will pass through your heart also.”
Although ecstatic at the birth of the Christ-child, Mary was to experience bitter disappointment and pain that only a mother’s heart can feel as she witnessed her Son become “a sign to be spoken against.” Mary had listened to the angels’ voices announcing her child as the Savior of the world. She had listened to the shepherds telling of the glory they had seen at his birth. She had witnessed the wise men worship her child.
The sword pierced her heart each time she saw Him being abused wrongfully by His many enemies. Mary’s soul was pierced:
In the Temple (see Luke 2:34).
In Jerusalem (see Luke 2:49).
In the house where He was preaching (see Mark 3:31-35).
The deepest sword piercing took place when in a mother’s agony she stood beneath that old rugged Cross and witnessed the complete degradation, desolation, and death of her Son. The people sat down to watch Him there, while Mary stood by the Cross (see John 19:25). Consider Mary’s loneliness - how did Mary feel when on the resurrection morning, the Lord revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene? Why did He not reveal Himself to His mother?
The Last Glimpse of Mary - The last glimpse we get of Mary is when she is gathered with the believers in the upper room (see Acts 1:13-14). At this time, she is mentioned not first on the list, but last on the list of names given. Life had changed for her. Her Son had been crucified, resurrected and was alive for evermore. Now she takes her place with the other believer’s waiting for the coming of the Spirit.
The last mention of Mary is a happy one. We see her praying with her family, who evidently came to know the Lord after the resurrection. Read Acts 1:14. We never read of Mary again in the Scriptures.