Where is Mary the mother of Jesus mentioned in the Bible? Today, let’s look at the Gospel accounts. Also included is a passage from Acts, believed to be written by the Gospel writer of Luke.
Matthew 1:16–25. She is named as the wife of Joseph, in Jesus’ genealogy. What follows is the Nativity story, the only one recounting Joseph’s response to learning that Mary was pregnant—he would “dismiss” her quietly rather than expose her shame. But an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and revealed the situation, instructing Joseph to take Mary as his wife, which he did. This passage skips over the journey to Bethlehem but simply states that Mary bore a son, and Joseph named the child Jesus.
Matthew 2. This passage tells the story of the wise men’s visit, the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt, and their return to Nazareth.
Mark 3:31–35. “[H]is mother and his brothers came . . .” Mary and other family members stood outside the place where Jesus was teaching the crowd. When told that they were asking for him, Jesus replied: “Who are my mother and my brothers? . . . Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 6:1–6. Jesus returns to Nazareth and begins to teach in the synagogue, but is rejected because no one can believe Jesus, the carpenter and son of Mary, could have such power and wisdom.
Luke 1 and 2. Begins with the Annunciation, then Mary visits Elizabeth, John the Baptist is born, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem for the census, and Jesus is born and laid in a manger. Shepherds come because angels have appeared to them, telling of the child. Jesus is named, is presented in the Temple (because he is the firstborn male), and Simeon and Anna both recognize the great importance of this infant. Twelve years later, Mary and Joseph lose Jesus during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem but find him impressing the teachers in the Temple. It is this passage that includes: “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
Luke 8:19–21. Another version of event related in Mark 6:1–6.
Luke 11:27–28. Brief reference to “the womb that bore you [Jesus] and the breasts that nursed you!”
Acts 1:14. Mary is named among those gathered in Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension; “All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer.”
John 1:13–14. Refers to Jesus: “The Word became flesh and lived among us,” implying his humanity, an indirect reference to Mary’s existence and role.
John 2:1–12. The Wedding at Cana, at which the hosts run out of wine and Mary leads Jesus to perform his first miracle.
John 19:25–28. Mary stands at the cross and witnesses her son die. Before that moment, Jesus pronounces that a certain disciple will now be Mary’s son, and Mary will be the disciple’s mother. Tradition names this disciple as John.
I encourage you to read these passages for yourself, to get a better grasp of what the Gospels say—and don’t say—about Mary. Choose one passage and live with it for a day or two—walk around in it, and imagine a conversation with Mary.