MARY OF NAZARETH, MOTHER OF JESUS
Scripture references: Matthew 1; 2; 12:46–50; 13:55; Mark 3:31–35; Luke 1; 2; 8:19, 20; John 2:1–11; 7:5; 19:25–27; Acts 1:14. See also pages 163–64. Bible Search Tool
Date: 5 b.c.
Name: Mary [in the Hebrew “Miriam”, meaning “rebellion”]
Main contribution: Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Savior.
When Mary was a teenager betrothed to a man named Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her that she had been chosen by God to give birth to the promised Messiah. Mary responded with simple faith, accepting the privileged role despite the fact that her pregnancy would seem to Joseph to mark unfaithfulness and might mark her as a harlot in her community. God guarded Mary’s reputation and sent the angel to speak to Joseph. It is interesting to note that although her name means “rebellion”, she was faithfully obedient to the Lord. Continue Reading Here
Scripture references: Exodus 2:1–10; 15:20, 21; Numbers 12:1–15; 20:1;
Date: About 1520–1420 b.c.
Name: Miriam [MER-eh-um: “loved by Yahweh”)
Greatest contribution: Miriam played a vital role as the protective sister of baby Moses, and later as a prophetess partner of the adult Moses in delivering the Israelites from Egypt.
Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron, the two men who play the most prominent roles in the grand adventure of the Israelites as God won their freedom from slavery in Egypt. Miriam herself played a significant role in three incidents described in Exodus and Numbers. As a child she was Moses’ sisterly protector. As an adult prophetess she led the delivered slaves in praising God. And as an unhappy woman she challenged Moses’ special relationship with God.
Exodus 15:20, 21 tells us four important things about Miriam’s role in the redeemed community.
Miriam was a prophetess (Ex. 15:20).
The Old Testament prophets were God’s spokespersons. They spoke as His mouthpieces, delivering messages that were not their own but that had the authority of the divine Word. While Moses himself was the premier prophet of the day, and indeed the prototype prophet for the future, it is significant that he was not the only prophet in the Israelite camp. Miriam, like Moses, had the prophetic gift and calling. Continue Reading Here