The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 69 of 181
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Joseph was a just man, concerned to fulfil the law: He was a kind man not wishing to
make Mary a public example: He was obedient and faithful to all that God required of
him. His call was for the protection of God's purpose in Christ in the early part of the
Lord's life on earth when He was most vulnerable; it was to ensure that Christ, Who
came to fulfil the law, fulfilled the law as a child until He became a "son of the law"; it
was to ensure the fulfillment of prophecy. The whole of this was done, that it might be
fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord.
Just, kind, obedient, faithful, protector of the Living Word:
Mary was "highly
favoured", was not Joseph highly privileged?
The Woman---Mary.
pp. 54 - 58
Why, in a series devoted to "Men God called", introduce a woman? In the last study
we considered the part Joseph had to play in the early days of the Lord Jesus Christ: yet
his part is hardly complete without that of Mary, and no man could possibly have fulfilled
the commission given to her. Her calling is unique.
From the reformed point of view, there is no question that in some quarters far too
much is made of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Perhaps, in reaction against this, there is a
tendency to ignore the part she played in God's purpose of redemption.
The background to her history is the same as for Joseph, her husband. It was a time of
great "religiosity", the Jews were under the dominance of the conquering Romans, and as
a result of these two factors, there was a great Messianic expectation. Indeed, there was
at least one in Israel who knew the Messiah was about to appear:
"It was revealed unto (Simeon) by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before
he had seen the Lord's Christ" (Luke 2: 26).
Mary, like Joseph, was "of the house and lineage of David". Her age is unknown.
She is described as "a virgin" (parthenos), a word meaning a maiden, virgin; when used
as an adjective it signifies virgin, pure, chaste. She was, then, a young unmarried woman
who was pure. More than this concerning Mary we do not know. It seems probable that
the genealogy given in Luke 3: is that of Mary, and if this is so we know that her
father's name was Heli. Of her mother nothing is known at all from Scripture; her name
may have been Anna, but was the Word of God has nothing to say about it, it is clearly
unimportant. Neither is there anything to indicate that she was born sinless, a theory
which only complicates even more the problem it is supposed to solve. For then there is
not only the "difficulty" of accounting for the Lord's sinlessness, but also of Mary's! It
is surely sufficient for us that the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ was the activity of God,
and that the "power of the Highest" which "overshadowed" her preserved Him from the