Mary of Bethlehem, a New Testament Woman Who Prophesied, Though She Was Not Known As A Prophet

Unlike Hannah and Elizabeth, Mary was a young girl, betrothed but not yet married. Like Hannah and Elizabeth, Mary was godly and devout, full of love for the Lord, and wise beyond her years.

When Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel to announce the conception of God the Son within her, she wondered in genuine puzzlement how this would come about, as she was a virgin. The angel Gabriel’s description of the overshadowing Holy Spirit seemed to make sense to Mary, but it has left the rest of us, over these ensuing millennia, with our jaws dropped.

God’s miraculous ‘resurrection’ of aged bodies, long beyond child-bearing ability, had already rocked centuries of believers. But now God was going to bring something out of nothing, by His incalculably mighty power – Himself in human form.

Mary understood much of Who this Son would be, and what destiny lay before Him. When she rushed to Elizabeth, the only person who could come close to understanding what was about to happen, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and broke forth in prophetic song.

Years later, the Lord Jesus Christ echoed the words of Mary in His own teaching. Jesus was raised up in a home which loved and honored God, with parents who took seriously God’s command to teach their children all of God’s words, even to “talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 11:19)

How often must Mary have sung her Magnificat to her tiny son, as His lullaby? How often did she remind Him of Who His Father truly was, and Who He truly was? Now as a grown man, the Lord fulfilled the destiny His mother had lovingly and faithfully raised Him up in.

Luke 1:46-55 New International Version (NIV)

Mary’s Song

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

Matthew 5:1-10, 12 New International Version (NIV)

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.