Mary, Mother of Jesus

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 09 - God Uses Christian Mothers

TEXT: Luke 2:40-51; John 2:1-5


The students will be able to describe how God used Mary to teach and encourage Jesus toward His ministry.


Introduction: Bring a series of pictures showing the growth of a child (either personal photographs or pictures cut from magazines or catalogs). Briefly discuss with your class the things a mother must do for a child at each stage of development.

Progression of Events:

  1. Mary, Jesus' mother, cared for Him and tended to His needs just as any mother does.
  2. Jesus grew physically and learned just as we do.
  3. Even more important than the physical care were the things Mary no doubt taught Jesus.
  4. Mary knew Jesus was God's Son and that He had a special calling on His life.

Climax: The incident at Cana shows Mary's confidence in Jesus.

Conclusion: Mary was chosen by God to be the one with the most direct influence on Jesus during His youthful days on earth.

Response: Your students will be able to describe the type of care and training Mary gave Jesus, and will recognize that this, no doubt, was a great influence in His life.


Mary was a woman of great spiritual stature. When the angel appeared to her to reveal the will of God, he said she had found favor with God (Luke 1:28). The redemption of mankind rested on Mary's reply, "Be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38).

Although Mary did not fully understand all these strange happenings it is twice stated that she "kept all these things [sayings] and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19,51).

As Mary gave birth to this most special Child, as she fed, clothed, and nurtured Him in His early years she surely realized that He was an extraordinary Child. As she saw her Son grow strong in spirit and increase in wisdom and in favor with God and man, (Luke 2:40,52) her confidence and love for Him also grew until she was able to say, "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it" (John 2:5). Although she may have been perplexed at times she never interfered in His work. Unlike some of Jesus' other relatives (John 7:3-5), Mary's love for Jesus did not waver and after His resurrection she is seen participating in the church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14).

When in John 2 Jesus said, "Woman, what have I to do with thee," He was not giving her a strong rebuke. Using the same gentle word "woman," Jesus spoke to His mother from the cross and placed her in the care of John the beloved (John 19:26). However, at this beginning point of Jesus' public ministry Mary needed to release all claim to Him as her Son, and see Him for who He really was, God's Son. At His words, "What have I to do with thee," her reply, 'Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it" shows her willingness to allow Jesus to become all God wanted Him to be. He was no longer subject to her (Luke 2:51), but her unto Him!


  • Give each child a copy of a diary page (see Patterns). Have them pretend that they have found a diary written by Mary, the mother of Jesus. Have them write what they think she would have written on the evening after she found Jesus in the Temple talking with the elders.
  • Cut a hammer and saw out of cardboard for each child (see Patterns). Explain how Jesus helped His parents, and learned to be a carpenter like Joseph.
  • Cut one cup, spoon, and bowl from cardboard for each child (see Patterns). Explain how Mary taught Jesus to be a helper.


  1. What are some things that you think Mary taught Jesus when He was small?
  2. What are some of the ways you think that Mary helped Jesus to grow "strong in the spirit" and "filled with wisdom"?
  3. What in our text shows that Jesus was obedient and learned the things His parents taught Him?
  4. What was the occupation of Joseph? What other story are you familiar with about Joseph?
  5. Why do you suppose it was possible for Mary and Joseph to travel a whole day without missing Jesus?
  6. Did you ever get separated from your folks while out shopping or in some crowd? If so, how did you feel?
  7. How do you think your parents felt?
  8. What in our lesson shows Mary's feelings at being separated from Jesus?
  9. Sometimes people today, by their actions, become separated from Jesus. How should they feel when they realize this?
  10. What do you think Jesus meant when He said He must be about His Father's business?
  11. What did Mary expect of Jesus when she went to Him at the wedding feast?
  12. What did she tell the servants to do? If they had not obeyed how might things at the wedding have been different?
  13. How important is obedience?


  • To illustrate that only Jesus could change water into wine, bring a pitcher of water and a small glass for each student. Pour each one a sip of water and let them drink it. Discuss how the water would still be water, even if you told it to become Koolaid. The only way you can change it is to add something to it. (Add a package of Koolaid to the water and let them taste the drink.) But Jesus changed water to wine without doing anything to it.
  • Enlarge the illustration for this week's story, and mount it on a piece of posterboard. Color the picture with marking pens. Then cut the picture into as many puzzle pieces as you have students. Mail each student one piece with instructions to bring it to class next Sunday. Note: This idea could be used with any lesson.
  • Make as many Baby Jesus figures and mangers as you have colors of paper—one of each color (see Patterns). Put babies in one pile, mangers in another. Let the children see how quickly they can put the babies in the right mangers according to color. Set a timer and see if they can beat the clock.


  • Enact a drama in which you appear dressed in a costume of Biblical times. Pretend to read a daily paper, such as the "Jerusalem Times." Read a headline or two, then come across an article that relates the incident of water's being turned to wine. Pretend disbelief, but notice the governor of the feast was Mr. ______, an acquaintance of yours. Go to visit him, and hear his first-hand account of what happened.


  • Mary, Mother of Jesus — by Barbara Hintze, Biblearn Book, Broadman Press
  • Mary, Mother of Jesus — Teach-o-graph, Standard Publishing