When Mary had Jesus, how old was she?
When Mary became pregnant with Jesus, how old was she?
Mary, who was Jesus’ mother on earth, is known for how spiritually mature she was. She shows a lot of people how to have faith and trust in God. In art, Mother Mary is usually shown as an adult woman. But, really, how old was Mary when she gave birth to Jesus? Historians think that Mary was only a young teen when she gave birth to Jesus. How old are you? Historians agree that Mary was probably between 12 and 14 years old when Jesus was born.
Mary said “yes” to God when he called her when she was a teenager. She did this for a reason she could never have imagined. Mary didn’t let the fact that she was young stop her from boldly following God’s plans for her life. By learning about Mary’s life, you can learn what to do when God asks you to do something in your own life.
Information about Mary’s life and work
In the first century, Mary grew up in a Jewish family that loved God. Joachim and Anne took Mary to a temple when she was three years old to give her to God. They raised her in Galilee, which was part of the Roman Empire back then and is now a part of Israel. Mary got engaged to be married when she was about 15 years old. This was common in her culture at the time. She had already decided to marry Joseph, a deeply religious man, when God surprised her by sending the angel Gabriel to tell her something amazing. The angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary is called the Annunciation, which just means “the announcement.”
Luke 1:28–38 tells what happened: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is on your side. Mary was very upset by what he said, and she wondered what kind of greeting he was giving. But the angel told her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is pleased with you.” You will get pregnant and have a son, and you should name him Jesus. He will be very important, and people will call him the Son of the Highest. The Lord God will give him his father David’s throne, and he will rule over the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ Mary asked the angel, “How will this work, since I’m a virgin?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you.” So, God’s holy child will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your older relative, is going to have a child, and she was said to be unable to get pregnant, but she is now six months pregnant. For nothing God says will ever be wrong.’ Mary replied, “I am the Lord’s servant.” “May your promise to me come true.” The angel left her then.”
In Mary’s culture, her age didn’t matter, but the fact that she was pregnant without being married did. Unwed mothers were often made to feel bad about themselves, and sometimes they were even stoned to death. Mary was very brave when she said yes to God’s call. God kept her safe by having an angel show up in Joseph’s dream and tell him what had happened. Joseph was so upset by Mary’s pregnancy that he planned to break up with her in a way that followed the law but didn’t make her look bad in public. “But after he thought about this, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is growing inside of her is from the Holy Spirit. She will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-21). After having that dream, Joseph was sure that he should help Mary and also follow God’s plan for his own life.
Mary celebrated God calling her by singing this beautiful song, which is written down in Luke 1:46–55: “Mary said, ‘My heart praises the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, because he has thought about how lowly his servant was. From now on, everyone will call me blessed, because the Holy One, who is powerful, has done great things for me. From one generation to the next, he is kind to those who fear him. He has done great things with his arm. Those who are proud in their hearts have been scattered by him. He has taken rulers down from their thrones, but he has raised up the lowly. He has given good things to the hungry but nothing to the rich. He has helped his servant Israel because he promised our ancestors that he would always be kind to Abraham and his descendants.
When Mary had Jesus, how old was she?
So, how old was Mary when she gave birth to Jesus? Historians think that Mary was between the ages of 12 and 14 when Jesus was born. Mary was only a teenager, which seems shockingly young to us now for a mother to be. But in Mary’s culture at the time, it was common for young women to have children. People got married and had children a lot earlier than they do today. So, Mary and the other people in her life wouldn’t think it was strange for her to get married and have a baby at a young age.
When Mary found out about God’s plan, she was still a child. This could have been a good thing. Mary hadn’t lost her sense of wonder, which is something that many young people have but lose as they get older. Jesus tells us that we should all try to have the sense of wonder that children have. No matter how old we are, having the mind and heart of a child can make our faith stronger. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, “I’m telling you the truth: you’ll never get into heaven unless you change and become like little children.” Mary’s youth helped her choose to have awe for God instead of the cynicism that many older people have in this broken world.
At the same time, Mary was more spiritually mature than her age would indicate. God knew Mary’s soul well, and in his wisdom, he chose her out of all the other souls to be the mother of the one who would save the world. Mary was able to do a good job with her calling because she worked hard to build a strong faith.
What can we learn about who God calls from this?
The beautiful example of Mary shows us that God uses people with strong faith to do amazing things. Hebrews 11:1 tells us what kind of faith God wants: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” When God told Mary that she would be Jesus’ human mother, she didn’t know how that would work, but she was sure that God would do something great through that plan. Mary’s strong faith gave her an important part to play in God’s plan to save the world. If we answer God’s call with strong faith, he will also use our lives to do something important.
In my book, Wake Up to Wonder, I explain how each of us can be a part of a miracle by just saying “yes” when God asks us to do something. When God tells us to do something, it can feel like he’s taking us to the edge of a cliff and telling us to jump. God asks us to grow in our faith all the time, and sometimes we don’t know why he wants us to do something or what will happen when we do. But love is what our goal is all about. The more we choose to answer God’s call with love, the less fear we’ll feel. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love.” “But love that is perfect drives away fear.” When we get rid of fear, wonder rushes in because we are free to learn more about God’s work. In my book, I talk about research that shows how feeling awe when we don’t know what to do helps us see more of God’s guidance and purpose. So, the more we choose love over fear on purpose, the more we can enjoy wonder, and the more that awe will motivate us to follow God’s plan for our lives and answer him when he calls us.
God wants all of us to help him do his work in the world, and he is happy when we do. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith, because whoever comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” You can follow Mary’s example of faith and act on your own faith, knowing that God will reward you when you do.
When we ask, “How old was Mary when she had Jesus?” the answer is that she was very young, but her faith was very strong. Mary put her faith into action when she overcame her fear and did what God told her to do. She thought about what God had promised her instead of what was going on around her. Because of this, God did wonderful things in Mary’s life. If you say “yes” to God’s calling for you, God will also do something great in your life.
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