Unless you grew up in a Catholic or Episcopal Church, you may not know much about Mary. Most Protestant denominations don’t give her much emphasis, but she is an important Biblical figure. With Scriptural guidance, you can get to know her better and understand why Jesus’ overall story would not be the same without her.
Who Is Mary?
Mary, like all believers, was an ordinary human being who recognized she needed the Savior. However, she was “highly favored.” The Greek translation of this phrase is a single word that means “graced.” In other words, Mary received a special portion of God’s grace to be able to carry and birth Jesus, but Mary does not receive any glory nor adoration due Jesus Himself. In Scripture, Jesus specifically indicates that obeying God is more important than being connected to Him, even through parentage.
Why Is She Important?
Although Mary doesn’t receive praise nor adoration, she is still vital to Scripture because she is the mother of our Messiah. Every Jewish girl in Mary’s era prayed for this privilege. Yet Mary didn’t expect to receive it because of her humble background and because she was already betrothed. Jesus seems to have chosen Mary to prove one need not be rich to be used by God. Additionally, He may have chosen a betrothed girl to show that God can contravene what “makes sense” to us for His greater purposes.
Finally, Mary is important because she is a role model. In agreeing to give birth to Jesus, she took the risk that everyone would believe she’d had relations out of wedlock. She could have been divorced, stoned, or disgraced. Yet her only response to these risks was, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”