Lesson 17 | Sabbath, 24 October 2020
Mary means “strong and robust.”
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38.
“Mary believed in her heart that the holy child born of her was the long-promised Messiah, yet she dared not express her faith. Throughout His life on earth she was a partaker in His sufferings. She witnessed with sorrow the trials brought upon Him in His childhood and youth. By her vindication of what she knew to be right in His conduct, she herself was brought into trying positions. She looked upon the associations of the home, and the mother’s tender watchcare over her children, as of vital importance in the formation of character. The sons and daughters of Joseph knew this, and by appealing to her anxiety, they tried to correct the practices of Jesus according to their standard.” –Daughters of God, p. 53.
The blessed are falsely accused
- How was the virgin Mary described by the prophet Isaiah? How would Mary be considered by Christians and Muslims in the Christian era?5
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Luke 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from now on all generations shall call me blessed.
“Before His [Jesus’] birth the angel had said to Mary, ‘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 forever.’ Luke 1:32, 33. These words Mary had pondered in her heart; yet while she believed that her child was to be Israel’s Messiah, she did not comprehend His mission.” –The Truth about Angels, p. 157.
“The advancing centuries witnessed a constant increase of error in the doctrines put forth from Rome. Even before the establishment of the papacy the teachings of heathen philosophers had received attention and exerted an influence in the church. Many who professed conversion still clung to the tenets of their pagan philosophy, and not only continued its study themselves, but urged it upon others as a means of extending their influence among the heathen. Serious errors were thus introduced into the Christian faith. Prominent among these was the belief in man’s natural immortality and his consciousness in death. This doctrine laid the foundation upon which Rome established the invocation of saints and the adoration of the Virgin Mary.” –The Great Controversy, p. 58.
- Mary was a teenager, betrothed, and pregnant. What did Joseph think he had to do to spare her from dishonor and death? Years later, what did Jesus say about such a situation?
Deuteronomy 22:23, 24 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed to an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24Then ye shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and thou shalt stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
Matthew 1:18, 19; 19:9 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. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily…. 19:9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.6
“His birth was supernatural, but by His own nation, those who had blinded their eyes to spiritual things, it was regarded as a blot and a stain. There was not a drop of our bitter woe which He did not taste, not a part of our curse which He did not endure, that He might bring many sons and daughters to God.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 253.
- According to tradition and genealogy, of whom was Mary a descendant?7 Therefore, to what was she subject as a human being?
Luke 3:23, 32, 34 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli…. 32Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson…. 34Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor.
Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
“The life of Christ was marked with respect, devotion, and love for His mother. She often remonstrated with Him, and sought to have Him concede to the wishes of His brethren. His brethren could not persuade Him to change His habits of life in contemplating the works of God, in manifesting sympathy and tenderness toward the poor, the suffering, and the unfortunate, and in seeking to alleviate the sufferings of both men and dumb animals. When the priests and rulers came to Mary to persuade her to force Jesus to give allegiance to their ceremonies and traditions, she felt much troubled. But peace and confidence came to her troubled heart as her Son presented the clear statements of the Scriptures in upholding His practices.” –Daughters of God, p. 53.
Son of Mary and Son of God
- Who was Mary’s child? Where was her Son educated?
Luke 1:35; 2:51, 52 And the angel answered and said to 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…. 2:51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
“The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor.” –Daughters of God, p. 50.
“All wondered at His knowledge of the law and the prophecies; and the question passed from one to another, ‘How knoweth this Man letters, having never learned?’ No one was regarded as qualified to be a religious teacher unless he had studied in the rabbinical schools, and both Jesus and John the Baptist had been represented as ignorant because they had not received this training. Those who heard them were astonished at their knowledge of the Scriptures, ‘having never learned.’ Of men they had not, truly; but the God of heaven was their teacher, and from Him they had received the highest kind of wisdom.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 453.
- What did Mary say about her only begotten Son? According to her example, what commandment should we all obey?
John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
Luke 1:46; 23:55, 56 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,… 23:55And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
“As the guests assemble, many seem to be preoccupied with some topic of absorbing interest. A suppressed excitement pervades the company. Little groups converse together in eager but quiet tones, and wondering glances are turned upon the Son of Mary. As Mary had heard the disciples’ testimony in regard to Jesus, she had been gladdened with the assurance that her long-cherished hopes were not in vain. Yet she would have been more than human if there had not mingled with this holy joy a trace of the fond mother’s natural pride. As she saw the many glances bent upon Jesus, she longed to have Him prove to the company that He was really the Honored of God. She hoped there might be opportunity for Him to work a miracle before them.” –Daughters of God, p. 54.
“It was the custom of the times for marriage festivities to continue several days. On this occasion, before the feast ended it was found that the supply of wine had failed. This discovery caused much perplexity and regret. It was unusual to dispense with wine on festive occasions, and its absence would seem to indicate a want of hospitality. As a relative of the parties, Mary had assisted in the arrangements for the feast, and she now spoke to Jesus, saying, ‘They have no wine.’ These words were a suggestion that He might supply their need. But Jesus answered, ‘Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.’
“In nowise disconcerted by the words of Jesus, Mary said to those serving at table, ‘Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.’ Thus she did what she could to prepare the way for the work of Christ.” –Daughters of God, p. 55.
The early and latter rains
- What great event prophesied by Simeon changed Mary’s life, and who took care of her in her last years? On the day of Pentecost, where was Mary?
Luke 2:34, 35 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Acts 1:13, 14 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
“[From the first] Mary looked forward to the Messiah’s reign on David’s throne, but she saw not the baptism of suffering by which it must be won. Through Simeon [at Christ’s dedication as a baby in the temple] it is revealed that the Messiah is to have no unobstructed passage through the world. In the words to Mary, ‘A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,’ God in His tender mercy gives to the mother of Jesus an intimation of the anguish that already for His sake she had begun to bear.” –Daughters of God, p. 50.
“Upon Calvary He sought to lighten His mother’s grief. He was thinking of her now. Mary was to witness His last agony, and Jesus desired her to understand His mission, that she might be strengthened to endure, when the sword should pierce through her soul. As Jesus had been separated from her, and she had sought Him sorrowing three days, so when He should be offered up for the sins of the world, He would again be lost to her for three days. And as He should come forth from the tomb, her sorrow would again be turned to joy. But how much better she could have borne the anguish of His death if she had understood the Scriptures to which He was now trying to turn her thoughts!” –Daughters of God, p. 52.
- What did Mary receive along with the 120 others gathered in the upper room at Pentecost? What do we need to do to be like Mary and receive the second outpouring of the Holy Spirit–the latter rain?
Acts 1:8; 2:4 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth…. 2:4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Luke 8:20, 21 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see you. 21And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
“The disciples assembled in the upper chamber, uniting in supplications with the believing women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren. These brethren, who had been unbelieving, were now fully established in their faith by the scenes attending the crucifixion and by the resurrection and ascension of the Lord. The number assembled was about one hundred and twenty.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 241.