Joseph And Mary


Isaiah prophesied, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). About 700 years after the prophesy was spoken, it was fulfilled. Mary was chosen by God to give birth to the savior, Jesus Christ. Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus but he plays an important role as the head of the family of Jesus.

I. Joseph

A. The son of Jacob (Matthew 1:15; of Heli, Luke 3:23).

  1. Descendent of David (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:4).
  2. A carpenter (Matthew 13:55).
  3. A “just man” (Matthew 1:19).
  4. Lived in the city of Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2:4).
  5. Father of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Luke 3:23; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42).

B. Mental distress when he discovered Mary was with child (Matthew 1:18-25).

  1. They were betrothed (1:18). Unfaithfulness during the engagement period was considered adultery (Deuteronomy 22:25, 28).
  2. They were not yet married and therefore there had been no consummation. The child was of the Holy Spirit (1:18).
  3. Joseph was a just or upright man and did not want Mary to suffer the humiliation of public exposure and so wanted to put her away privately (1:19).
  4. An angel appeared to Joseph and explained that the child conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah (1:20-23).
  5. Joseph did as the angel commanded and took Mary as his wife (1:24).
  6. Joseph had no sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born (1:25).

C. Joseph received divine guidance (Matthew 2:13-23).

  1. Commanded to flee to Egypt to avoid Herod’s desire to destroy Jesus (2:13-14).
  2. Commanded to return to the land of Israel after Herod’s death (2:19-21).
  3. Warned to return to Galilee because Archelaus, the son of Herod, was ruling in Judea in his father’s place (2:22-23).

D. Appropriate principles.

  1. Man can be confident that God will fulfill His promises.
  2. God chooses just men and women to fulfill His purposes.
  3. We must faithfully obey God’s commands even though we may not understand them.
  4. Husbands must love their wives and be considerate of them.

II. Mary

A. Infancy narratives.

  1. Visited by the angel, Gabriel (Luke 1:26-38).
    a) Mary was blessed among women and had found favor with God (1:28, 30).
    b) Declaration of God’s intent for her (1:31-33).
    c) Mary’s question: “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
    d) Answer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you …” (1:35).
    e) “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (1:38).
  2. Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45).
  3. The song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55).
  4. The birth of Jesus (Matthew 1; Luke 2).
  5. Flight to Egypt and return (Matthew 1:13-23).

B. Mary and her other sons sent for Jesus (Mark 3:31-35).

  1. “Who is My mother, or my brothers” (3:33)?
  2. “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother” (3:35).

C. Mary at Cana, when Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11).

  1. Mary turns to Jesus and expects Him to help (2:3).
  2. Mary commands servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it” (2:5).

D. Mary at the cross (John 19:25-27).

  1. Jesus said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son” (19:26)!
  2. Jesus told the disciple to care for His mother (19:27).

E. Mary with the disciples in Jerusalem following the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14).
F. Appropriate principles.

  1. We like Mary need to rejoice in God our Savior (Luke 1:46).
  2. The mercy of God is on those who fear Him (Luke 1:50).
  3. God scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts (Luke 1:51).
  4. God fills the hungry with good things, and the rich He sends away empty (Luke 1:53).

III. Mariolatry

A. The Immaculate Conception is the doctrine that Mary was born without inherited sin, therefore Jesus could be born sinless (Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854).
B. Perpetual Virginity is the doctrine that Mary had no sexual relations with a man and had no other children besides Jesus (Pope Vigilius, A.D. 553).
C. The Assumption of Mary is the doctrine that she was assumed, body and soul, into heaven (Pope Pius XII, Nov. 1, 1950).
D. The doctrine of the Mediatrix states, “As Christ is the one Mediator between God and men so Mary is the one ‘mediatrix’ between Christ and all those whom He has redeemed” (The Question Box, p. 294).


Joseph and Mary were pivotal characters in the New Testament. There are many false doctrines revolving around Mary which, if believed, radically alter the clear statements of the scriptures.


  1. Explain the importance of the genealogies in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.
  2. Why did Joseph want to put Mary away privately?
  3. List the promises fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
  4. Describe Mary’s and Joseph’s attitude toward the events described in this lesson.
  5. What happened to Mary following the ascension of Jesus?
  6. Give scriptures which debunk the Roman Catholic doctrines which concern Mary

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