Learning More About How Old Was Mary When She Had Jesus

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Published by Shannon Jacobs



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The Virgin Mary is revered for her spiritual maturity because she was Jesus’ earthly mother. She is an example of faith and trust in God[1] for many individuals. Mother Mary is frequently represented as a mature woman in art. Mary responded “yes” to a summon from God as an adult with a purpose greater than anything she could have anticipated. Despite being young, Mary stepped courageously into God’s plans for her life.

You can learn how to respond when God invites you to take action in your own life by studying Mary’s experience. Although the Bible doesn’t specify how old Mary was, we can infer that she was a young woman when she gave birth to Jesus. But exactly how old was Mary when she gave birth to Jesus?

Who Was Mary?

Mary, Jesus’ mother, is known by the titles Virgin Mary, Blessed Virgin Mary, or Theotokos in the New Testament. The concept of the Theotokos is crucial to forming the idea of the incarnation. The Greek word for “God-bearer” or “one who gives birth to God” is theotokos. This name draws attention to Mary’s part in the incarnation of Jesus and underscores her role as a Mother of God.

Mary was one of the Jewish girls who grew up in a devout Jewish family in the first century. When Mary was three years old, her parents, Anne and Joachim, went to a temple with her to dedicate herself to God. Galilee, now part of Israel but once part of the historical Roman Empire, is where they raised her.

As was customary in her culture at the time, Mary was engaged when she was an adult. At a very young age, she planned to marry Joseph, a devoted and faithful man. She was taken aback when an unexpected visit from the angel Gabriel brought her astonishing news from God. The Annunciation, which translates as “the announcement,” was Gabriel’s visit to Mary.

Luke 1:26-38 contains the exchange between Mary and the angel Gabriel. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, addressing her, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!” Mary was perplexed and questioned how this was possible, given that she was a virgin. Gabriel informed her that she had won God’s favor and would give birth to a boy named Jesus.

black and white photo of mother and baby side view

What Does The Bible Say About Mary’s Age?

Although how old Mary was at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ is not stated in the Bible, most Christian historians assume she was between 15 and 16. A young girl could become engaged to a young man as early as age 12 until they were formally married. This implies that Mary appears older than a young adolescent based on her faith, obedience, and tenacity. She sounds more mature, which shows in how she expresses her thanks to God.

Mary traveled from Galilee to Judah to see her aunt Elizabeth, according to Luke 1:39–56. She would have had to go a considerable distance through Samaria. We don’t know if she traveled alone, in a group with family members, or with servants. But even with adult escorts, it’s highly likely that Mary would still need to be mentally and physically mature to manage such a journey.

Whatever Mary’s age was at the time of Jesus’ virgin birth, however, her spiritual maturity is undeniable. God calls Mary, the mother of Jesus, “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). Mary reacts with pure trust and obedience to the news that she will conceive the holy Son of God, saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:35–38).

How Old Was Mary When She Had Jesus?

According to historians, Mary was between 12 and 14 years old when Jesus was born. In today’s culture, being a mother in adolescence looks startlingly early. However, young motherhood was typical of the society Mary was a part of.

Much sooner than they do now, couples got married and started families. Therefore, Mary and the people in her life wouldn’t think it strange for her to get pregnant and start a family as a young woman. Mary’s young age when she learned of God’s plan might have been a benefit.

Mary still retained the sense of amazement that many young people do but, regrettably, lose as they age. Jesus calls on all of us to cultivate the sense of wonder that youngsters are known to possess. At any age, open-mindedness and childish curiosity can deepen our faith.

Mary’s youth helped her choose the fear of God over the skepticism that old people sometimes have to endure in this fallen world. As Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, “Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Mary’s spiritual maturity was also greater than her age would imply. Out of all souls, God selected Mary to fulfill the role of the world’s Savior’s mother due to his deep understanding of her soul. Because Mary greatly emphasized growing in her faith, she could handle her calling successfully.

Why Does The Age Of Mary Matter?

By carrying the Son of God in her womb, Mary showed great confidence and maturity despite being a young teenager. Teenagers today are obsessed with social media, news, and celebrities. Mary was devoted to the Lord and served Him. Although Mary was a virgin, the Holy Spirit provided the means for Jesus to be conceived (Luke 1:29–38).

Even though Mary had not been unfaithful to Joseph, the town’s other residents would have laughed and cast doubt on her marriage because of her pregnancy. When Mary consented to the duty of carrying the Lord in her womb, she would have known this. She didn’t challenge Gabriel or try to elude God’s purpose for her life.

When Mary tells Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your promise to me come true,” she exhibits excellent faith in God (Luke 1:38). Mary doesn’t see bearing the Lord as a burden but rather as a beautiful privilege and honor. It would have been terrifying for Mary, but she decided to be brave and bold and have faith in the Lord.

Mary’s exact age is significant since it sheds light on the Jewish customs and culture of the time. Early women were frequently engaged and married at an early age in ancient Jewish law, perhaps as young as 12. This cultural background clarifies Mary’s circumstances and the difficulties a young single mother would have experienced.

What Does This Teach Us About Who God Calls?

When God chose Mary, it served as an example that showed us that the Lord God uses people with strong faith to carry out particular purposes. The type of faith God seeks is described in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Mary felt secure in her belief that God would accomplish something good through that plan, even though she couldn’t see how it would work out when she received the call from God to be Jesus’ human mother. Mary contributed significantly to God’s plan to preserve humanity because of her steadfast faith. If we answer God’s call with unwavering trust, he will use our lives to further his purposes in the world.

God invites us to share in his work in the world, and he is pleased when we do so obediently. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, for one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” Mary’s example of faith can inspire you to act with confidence and joy in knowing that God will reward you.

When the question, “How old was Mary when she had Jesus?” was asked, the answer lies in the fact that Mary was of tender age yet exhibited remarkable spiritual maturity. Mary put her confidence into action by overcoming her fears and moving forward with what God called her to do.

She focused on the promise God had made to her rather than her situation. As a result, God worked miracles during Mary’s life. If you respond affirmatively to God’s summons, He will bring about something truly remarkable in your life as well!

black and white photo of newborn baby wrapped in cloth


Mary is, without a doubt, the most fortunate woman God has ever created. It was no easy task to conceive of and give birth to Jesus Christ. As the mother of Jesus, Mary had a strong faith. She is even more exceptional because she performed her duties admirably and never caused God to second-guess His decision to have chosen her.

She was undoubtedly a young lady of excellent moral character who worked hard to serve her God. Mary’s example has demonstrated that all it takes to have a relationship with God and have a significant positive impact on the world is simply confidence in Him.

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