Mary: An Average Woman with Extraordinary Faith

The New Testament character of Mary is known for her obedience, humility, and faith. She was an average young woman who had no idea what God had in store for her life!


Derived from Miriam possibly meaning “stubborn” or “bitter.”

Outstanding Characteristics

Humility, obedience, and faith.


Mary was an ordinary young Jewish virgin engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. An angel named Gabriel appeared to her and announced she would be the mother of Jesus. Although she was confused at first, Mary soon responded with amazement, joy, and submission. She gave birth to Jesus in a stable, was visited by shepherds, and later was also visited by magi. When she learned of King Herod’s plot to kill Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt, although they eventually returned to Nazareth to raise Jesus. Scripture records Mary as present at various events during Jesus’ life and ministry such as when Jesus was left behind in Jerusalem at the Temple (Luke 2:46–49), the wedding in Cana (John 2:3–10), when she came with Jesus’ brothers to find Jesus and take Him away (Mark 3:31–35), at Jesus’ death on the cross (John 19:25–27), and finally with the disciples in the upper room after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:13-14). Mary was a thinker—wondering, pondering, and reflecting on all that happened to her. Despite not understanding it all, she was a humble servant who obeyed and praised God.

Key Scripture

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38)

Lessons Learned

1. God uses ordinary people to accomplish His plans

God chose to use an ordinary young woman and her carpenter husband from a small village to bring the Messiah into the world. We too are God’s chosen instruments to accomplish His will and purposes in bringing the Good News to the places He has put us, including our family, workplace, and community. God can use those who are faithful to Him in His plans to accomplish great things.

2. Nothing is impossible with God

God enabled the virgin Mary to conceive Jesus and to raise Him. If He can do that, He can go above the laws of nature to fulfil His purposes. In our life also, God can overcome any obstacles, no matter how big or how difficult so that we can achieve what He has called us to do.

3. Joyful submission and humble obedience

Mary said “yes” to God’s plan for her life even when she didn’t understand how, as a virgin she could give birth. She had an obedient, submissive, and humble heart. Are we willing to say, “yes Lord,” to whatever task He calls us? Sometimes in our lives we don’t understand what God is doing, yet He asks us to humbly and joyfully submit and trust Him through it all and allow Him to use us to fulfil His purposes.

4. Relying on God’s grace

Mary encountered much difficulty as a result of her pregnancy, Jesus’ birth, her flight to Egypt, and being the mother of Jesus. But she did it all by relying on God’s grace. No matter what God commands us to do or allows us to face, He will give the grace to accomplish if we rely on Him.

5. Turn to Jesus

Mary turned to Jesus for help when she had a problem to be solved. When the wine ran out at the wedding in Cana, Mary told Jesus, then told the servants to do whatever He tells them. When a problem arises where do we turn to first for help and guidance? Do we seek Christ or turn to others? Do we spend time worrying? Do we point others toward Christ to help them?

6. God doesn’t forget those who sacrifice for Him

God didn’t cast Mary aside once she had raised Jesus. Even on the cross when He had the weight of the sins of the world on His shoulders, Jesus made sure to make provision for a believer to take care of His mother and provide for her future. We can trust that if we sacrifice to serve the Lord, He will provide for us too.

Mary, an ordinary young woman, had a life characterized by humble obedience and faith. Her story can teach us a lot about trusting in the Lord’s guidance, wherever He leads!