The Mother of Seven
(Matthew; Mark; Luke and John)
by Susan E. Todd

Let's look at all the verses that mention Mary and see what the Bible says about her. First turn to the gospel of Matthew. The first thing we see is that Mary is the fifth woman listed in the genealogy of Jesus.

1:3TamarCanaaniteGenesis 38:6, 27-29
1:5RahabAmmoriteJoshua 2:1-21 (1 Chronicles 2:11)
1:5RuthMoabiteRuth 4:13-22
1:6BathshebaHittite2 Samuel 11
1:16MaryJewessLuke 3:23-38

(Matthew 1:18) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Mary was a virgin. She was impregnated by the Holy Ghost. Her child, Jesus Christ, was "immaculately conceived," Mary was not. There is no scripture to support the heretical doctrine that Mary herself was conceived in the same way that Jesus was. This is blasphemy.

(Matthew 1:24-25) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Joseph married Mary but they didn't consummate their marriage until after the birth of Jesus. Let's look at verse 25 again: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

You don't refer to a child as your "firstborn" if it is an only child. There is no need to. You would only use the term "firstborn" if you had other children like Mary did.

(Mark 6:3) Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Mary had other children by Joseph after Jesus was born. She had at least 6 others (four boys and a minimum of two girls). She was not a perpetual virgin. You don't stay a virgin after you have had sex.

According to the dictionary, a virgin is a woman who has had no carnal (fleshly) knowledge of a man; a person who has not experienced sexual intercourse; a chaste or unmarried woman. (Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 edition and Reader's Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary.)

(Matthew 2:1-2) "Now when MARY was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is SHE that is born QUEEN OF HEAVEN? for we have seen HER star in the east, and are come to WORSHIP HER?"

What's the matter? Isn't that what your Bible says? No? Well then why do you act like it does? Mine says: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."

We see that the wise men from three different countries (representing the races of Shem, Ham and Japheth) came to worship Jesus not Mary.

(Matthew 2:3-6) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Governors were always men.

Back in Psalm 22:27-28 it says, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations."

Mary was not the governor.

(Matthew 2:7-9) Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

(Matthew 2:11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

It couldn't be any clearer. They weren't interested in Mary. Mary was not worshipped then and she shouldn't be worshipped now.

(Matthew 2:13-14) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

(Matthew 2:20-21) Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

Both of these passages mention Jesus first. Why? Because He is more important. He is the central figure in the gospels, not Mary.

(Matthew 2:15) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

In the Old Testament in the book of Hosea in chapter 1 verse 1 it says "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."

God calls Israel out of Egypt (a type of the world) prophetically in Matthew 2:15 and historically in Exodus 4:22-23.

Psalm 80:8 says "Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it."

Jesus said in John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Now let's turn to the book of Luke and see what it says about Mary.

(Luke 1:26-28) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

The word "hail" was a form of greeting in those days. (Matthew 26:49) And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

(Luke 1:29) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

Mary was uncomfortable with this kind of talk. She was a humble and meek young girl. If she had not been the Lord would not have chosen her.

(Luke 1:30-33) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Every Jewish girl had the hope that she would be the mother of the Messiah. Mary was given this promise directly from the Lord. She was shocked to find out that it was going to be her.

(Luke 1:34-35) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Mary knew that she had to be married and have relations with a man in order to conceive and bare a child. She didn't understand how this was to be accomplished. She was to find out that this was to be Christ's first miracle.

(Luke 1:38) And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary considered herself a servant girl for the Lord.

Mary is then told that her cousin Elizabeth, who was beyond the child-bearing years, was also going to have a child so Mary went down to Judah to visit her. When Elizabeth reveals to her how blessed she is Mary gives the Lord her praise in a beautiful song in verses 46-55 of this chapter. She begins with the acknowledgment that she is a sinner in need of a Saviour.

(Luke 1:46-47) And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

God my Saviour, I thought Jesus Christ was the Saviour? Well look at Isaiah 45:21 "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me."

In chapter two we see that Mary was ready to have her child. (Luke 2:6-7) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

According to Jewish custom the newborn baby was washed and then had salt rubbed over the skin in the belief that this hardened it. The Jewish women believed that the limbs would grow straight and firm if they were bound tightly to the sides by what were called "swaddling clothes." These bandages were four or five inches wide and five or six yards long. (The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times by Ralph Gower, c The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, page 62)

(Ezekiel 16:4) And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

Here is verification of this in the Old Testament.

Swaddling clothes are representative of burial clothes. A body was covered in spices and in paste and these were tied to the body by layers of white "roller bandage." The paste hardened and impregnated the bandages until a hard preservative mould or cocoon was formed about the body. A cap was put on the head, and often the jaw was held in position by a bandage under the chin. (The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times by Ralph Gower, c The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, pages 73-74)

(Luke 2:22-24) And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

(Leviticus 12:6-8) And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

Mary did not have a lamb, she could not afford one, so she brought a substitute sacrifice. How ironic this was! Mary just gave birth to the Lamb of God who was to become the sacrifice for our sins but she could not afford the sacrificial lamb required for the cleansing from her sin after childbirth.

Now there is a custom in the Catholic Church, as well as many protestant churches in America, where parents present their children to their priest or minister and the child is "dedicated to God." Look closely at the next verses.

(Luke 2:25-28) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

What is happening here is not what happens in these churches. First of all, "after the custom of the law" refers to Mary's sin offering. Secondly, Simeon did not bless the child, he blessed GOD for allowing him the see his Saviour before his death. Don't read something into what is not there.

(Luke 2:33) And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

Mary did not yet have the full realization of who her son was and it would be some time before she did.

(Luke 2:41-47) Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Here is a twelve-year-old boy teaching the doctors, not physicians, but Ph.D.'s. These men were the most learned around and they were listening to this child expound on the Scriptures.

(Luke 2:48-51) And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Jesus is now twelve years old and Mary still does not have a clue what is going on.

Now let's look at one more story and that is in the book of John.

(John 2:1-5) And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

By this time Mary knows that Jesus is special. When the "wine" runs out at the marriage feast she approaches her son and gives him a mild hint. She doesn't ask him to do anything but yet she somehow knows that he can because after he says to her, in effect, "Why are you telling me this? What do you want me to do about it? She instructs the servants to do whatever he says. She knows that he will do something. This was the start of his earthly ministry. By the time Jesus was thirty years old his mother finally figured out that he was different than her other children.

Now, let's go back and notice a few things that are important about this woman.

She was a virgin when she was impregnated by the Holy Ghost but she did not remain a virgin for she married Joseph and had other children.

She recognized the fact that she was a sinner and that she needed a Saviour. The fact that she had to bring a "sin offering" after Jesus birth tells us that clearly.

Concerning Mary's importance in the Scriptures. There are no descriptive terms used for her other that the following verses when she is referred to.

(Matthew 27:56) Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

(Mark 15:40) There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

(Mark 15:47) And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

Joses was the brother of Jesus whom was more than likely embarrassed and annoyed by the publicity and controversy Jesus stirred up. He was probably part of the family delegation that tried to bring Jesus home to Nazareth. (Matthew 12:46) While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

Unlike Jesus' other brothers, James and Jude, Joses never grew to believe in Jesus. (Do You Know Me? by William P. Barker, c 1966 by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 200)

However, Jesus Christ is called many things in Scripture. Here are just a few of the names that are given to Him.

Advocate1 John 2:1
Author of Eternal SalvationHebrews 5:9
Bread of LifeJohn 6:35
Chief Shepherd1 Peter 5:4
Creator of All ThingsColossians 1:16
DelivererRomans 11:26
Emmanuel (God with us)Matthew 1:23
Friend of SinnersMatthew 11:19
Good ShepherdJohn 10:11
Great High PriestHebrews 4:14
I Am John 8:58
IntercessorHebrews 7:25
King of KingsRevelation 17:14
Lamb of GodJohn 1:29
LifeJohn 14:6
Lord of LordsRevelation 17:14
Mediator1 Timothy 2:5
MessiahJohn 4:25
RedeemerIsaiah 59:20
ResurrectionJohn 11:25
TestatorHebrews 9:16
True God1 John 5:20
TruthJohn 14:6
Word of Life1 John 1:1

And there are many more.

Let me give you a few statistics in closing to show you the unimportance of Mary and why we shouldn't regard her as highly as she is.

The spoken words of Jesus Christ in the four gospels plus the books of Acts, 1st and 2nd Corinthians and Revelation total 41,544. The spoken words of Mary in the gospels alone total 190. There are almost 220 times more recorded words of Jesus in the Bible. Why? Because what He had to say was more important.

There are almost 40 recorded miracles in the gospels that were performed by Jesus Christ and none that were performed by Mary. Why? Because Jesus was God and Mary was just a woman who was a sinner and needed a Saviour.

The name of Jesus alone is mentioned 625 times in the four gospels. This does not include any other reference to Him. The name of Mary (Jesus' mother) in only mentioned 23 times.

Who do you think is more important?

  • Show me one verse in the Bible where someone went to Mary to be healed?
  • Show me one verse that describes a miracle that Mary performed?
  • Show me one verse where a demon trembled at the name of "Mary"?

You can't. There aren't any.

Was Mary ever called "I AM"? No! But Jesus was. (John 8:58-59) Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

And so was God. (Exodus 3:14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

In the New Testament Jesus was called "I AM":

(John 6:35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

(John 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(John 10:9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

(John 10:11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

(John 11:25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

(John 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(John 15:1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

(Revelation 22:13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

(Revelation 22:16) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Did Mary die on the cross? No! Did Mary shed her blood for salvation? No! Jesus did and I'm glad. Jesus Christ is the Saviour. Jesus Christ is God. The Bible tells us in Mark 12:30 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." And in Exodus 20:2-3 "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Worshipping anyone other than God is idolatry.