What was so special about Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Obviously, she needed to be a female with the ability to become pregnant, carry the baby full term, deliver the baby, and then nurse and provide for the baby. However, as my mother used to say, “any [female] cat can have kittens, but it takes a mother to raise them.”
The purpose of this article is to explore what the Bible records concerning Mary (3) with the objective of understanding why she was chosen to be the physical mother of Jesus Christ our Lord. That is, what made her unique over all other women in that period that could have potentially been selected? We know the mother of Jesus needed to be P.C. (i.e., prophetically correct). That is, she would have to be in alignment with and thus fulfill the prophecies (1) concerning the mother of Jesus and those concerning Jesus. But, why Mary?
Prophetic Requirements for the Mother of Jesus
The mother of Jesus had to be a woman that came from the bloodline of Adam so that Jesus could be born of the seed of a woman and He would be the offspring of a woman (sans seed of a man) and of the bloodline of Adam so that He is the Son of Man and the second and last Adam (1):
And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, and you will attack her offspring's heel." (Genesis. 3:15 NET)
I was watching in the night visions, "And with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him. To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14 NET) (cf. Hebrews 1:6-8. Revelations 1:13. Revelations 14:14)
But when the appropriate time had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, (Galatians 4:4 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ...the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:23,38 NET)
For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. (John 5:26-27 NET)
The mother of Jesus had to be a virgin so that Jesus could be born of a virgin:
For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 NET)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end." Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?" The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-35 NET)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way (1). While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: "Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel," which means "God with us." When Joseph awoke from sleep he did what the angel of the Lord told him. He took his wife, but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 NET)
The mother of Jesus needed to be of the bloodline of Abraham so that Jesus would be as well:
The LORD's angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "'I solemnly swear by my own name,' decrees the LORD, 'that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. Because you have obeyed me, all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.'" (Genesis. 22:15-18 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ...the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, (Luke 3:23,34 NET)
The mother of Jesus needed to be of the bloodline of Isaac so that Jesus would be as well:
But God said to Abraham, "Do not be upset about the boy or your slave wife. Do all that Sarah is telling you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. (Genesis 21:12 NET)
God said, "No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual covenant for his descendants after him. (Genesis 17:19 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ... the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, (Luke 3:23,34 NET)
The mother of Jesus needed to be of the bloodline of Jacob so that Jesus would be as well:
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not close at hand. A star will march forth out of Jacob, and a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the skulls of Moab, and the heads of all the sons of Sheth. (Numbers 24:17 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ... the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, (Luke 3:23,34 NET)
The mother of Jesus needed to be of the bloodline of Judah so that Jesus would be as well:
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; the nations will obey him. (Genesis 49:10 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ...the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, (Luke 3:23,33 NET)
Then one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered; thus he can open the scroll and its seven seals." (Revelation 5:5 NET)
The mother of Jesus needed to be of the bloodline of Jesse so that Jesus would be as well:
A shoot will grow out of Jesse's root stock, a bud will sprout from his roots. (Isaiah 11:1 NET)
At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. ...Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic. (Isaiah 11:10 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ...the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, (Luke 3:32 NET)
And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope." (Romans 15:12 NET)
The mother of Jesus needed to be of the bloodline of King David so that Jesus would be as well:
"I, the LORD, promise that a new time will certainly come when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, a descendant of David. He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding and will do what is just and right in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5 NET)
So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, ... the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, (Luke 3:23,31 NET)
Again, the mother of Jesus must be of the house and family line of David so that she would need to go to Bethlehem, which means the “house of bread” and a major source of water for the area (4), to register for taxes when it was time for Jesus the bread of life (John 6:51) and giver of living water (John 4:10,14;7:37,38) was to be born:
As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah– from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past. (Micah 5:2 NET)
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:4-7 NET)
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, "Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. After assembling all the chief priests and experts in the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem of Judea," they said, "for it is written this way by the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are in no way least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'" (Matthew 2:1-6 NET)
Mary satisfied the requirements of the prophecy for her to be the mother of Jesus. However, most likely other females living at that time would have met these conditions. So, again, why Mary? Let us explore what Jesus said about Mary His human mother to see if we can discern the reason for her selection.
Jesus and Mary, His birth Mother
As he said these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!" But he replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!" (Luke 11:27-28 NET)
Jesus discounts the selection of Mary was solely based on the availability of a female with the necessary womb and nurturing breasts for childbearing and childrearing (Psalms 22:9). Instead, it was based on Mary hearing the Word of God and obeying it! Do we have evidence in the scripture of Mary hearing the Word of God and obeying it? I am glad you asked!
In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end." Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?" The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God. "And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age– although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God." So Mary said, "Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38 NET)
Mary heard the Word from God (the Word of God is the door, Psalms 119:130. John 10:11,9,7. John 1:1,14), she mixed it with faith which opens the door (faith is the doorkeeper, Revelation 3:20. Proverbs 8:34. Romans 10:8-13. Hebrews 4:2. Ephesians 2:8) for Jesus to be born as the Son of Man and the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20) of us His sheep! (Psalms 95:6,7)
The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (John 10:2-3 NET)
If Mary had only a religion about God and not a relationship with God, then I believe she would never have consented to this proposition. Becoming pregnant before being married was sure to ostracize her family from the community, Joseph to whom she was engaged may have her killed (Deuteronomy 22:13-21. Numbers 5:11-31), and if she and her baby were not killed then it would bring lifelong shame to her son and her (John 8:41,48). I believe that only a person that knew God would have consented to such a plan with so many apparent adverse consequences. Furthermore, she was blessed because she was not just obedient but she had a willing attitude in her obedience (Isaiah 1:19). Note that Mary questioned the probability of having a baby, not having had sexual relations with a man, and received the answer since this was not unbelief but somewhat beyond her and for that matter all of our understanding. Juxtaposed with Zechariah who when told of the birth of a son by the same Holy Angel (1) Gabriel, He questioned the possibility of having a baby when Elizabeth his wife who was unable to have children in her youth and both were now past the time of having children. His vocalized failure to believe the words of God delivered by the Holy Angel Gabriel was answered with being made mute until John the Baptist was born! (Luke 1:5-20) God was not allowing Zechariah a priest to speak forth words of unbelief (Proverbs 18:21. Hebrews 4:2. 2 Corinthians 4:13) that could have stopped the birth of John the Baptist the one who was to go before Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way of the Lord! (Luke 1:17,76). Amen
In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:39-45 NET)
And Mary said, "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior, because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant. For from now on all generations will call me blessed, because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name; from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him. He has demonstrated power with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts. He has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position; he has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." (Luke 1:46-55 NET)
While Mary is to be greatly admired for her faith, was she born without sin (i.e., conceived without original sin)? No, Mary was born of her human father Heli (6) from which he passed to her the original sin (1) or fallen nature (1) that Adam started (Romans 5:12). Only Jesus, the one uniquely conceived without a human father was born of a woman without the fallen nature transferred via the seed (DNA) of a male. Mary did later have her own doubts about her son and his mission demonstrating she was not omniscient. Again, Jesus affirms that believing God’s Word is what is important and not the flesh (John 6:63 NET)
Now Jesus went home, and a crowd gathered so that they were not able to eat. When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." (Mark 3:20,21 NET)
Then Jesus' mother and his brothers came. Standing outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you." He answered them and said, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:31-35 NET)
Early in Jesus’ ministry, Mary misguidingly (1) attempted to push Him into ministry before His time had come thus showing again that she was not sinless:
Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no wine left." Jesus replied, "Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come." His mother told the servants, "Whatever he tells you, do it." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, "Fill the water jars with water." So they filled them up to the very top. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the head steward," and they did. When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now!" Jesus did this as the first of his miraculous signs, in Cana of Galilee. In this way he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11 NET)
Jesus called His mother a polite term for a female; however, this was not the usual way to address a person’s mother. I believe Jesus was clarifying to His earthly mother that He was on a mission in which He would only do and say what He saw His Heavenly Father doing and saying and this took precedence over their familial relationship. (John 5:19. John 8:28. John 12:49,50. John 14:10) In fact, Jesus’ Heavenly Father had always taken precedence; however, growing up as part of a nuclear family was obviously part of God’s plan from the beginning to which He willingly and obediently followed (Luke 2:41-52).
Note, Mary did not say pray to me, listen to, and obey me but rather she wisely directed the servants to listen to and obey everything Jesus told them to do! Hallelujah! In one sentence the secret to a successful life: Listen to (1) and obey the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! Hallelujah!
Jesus later said something very similar:
So then they said to him, "What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?" Jesus replied, "This is the deed God requires– to believe in the one whom he sent." (John 6:28-29 NET)
In the final moments, while Jesus was hanging on the cross, He stops to ensure His mother would be cared for after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Again, He calls her a polite term for a female but not the customary greeting for a mother but instead uses mother for her new relationship with John the Apostle. As the eldest son, it was His duty to ensure she would be provided for in his absence. (5) Consequently, Jesus pauses the plan of salvation long enough to ensure His mother would be cared for by John the Apostle He loved (John 13:34). Then Jesus drank of the vinegar symbolically drinking of the cup of God’s wrath for us sinners (Matthew 26:39-44) and gave up His spirit.
So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, "Woman, look, here is your son!" He then said to his disciple, "Look, here is your mother!" From that very time the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:26-27 NET)
So, what happened to Mary after the crucifixion of Jesus? She and Jesus’ stepbrothers (James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas; Matthew 13:55) assembled with the Apostles and other women (perhaps including Jesus’ stepsisters?; Matthew 13:56) the upstairs room with one mind continuing in prayer. I believe this demonstrates that Mary had successfully transitioned from seeing Jesus as her son to her Lord and the Savior of the World! This was no small transition after raising Jesus, her firstborn son, for some 30 years. (Luke 2:34,35)
When they had entered Jerusalem, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James were there. All these continued together in prayer with one mind, together with the women, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (Acts 1:13-14 NET)
They were all (all that were listed in Acts 1:13,14 which included Mary) gathered together on the day of Pentecost when the fire of the Holy Spirit fell upon each of them, He filled them with Himself, and they began to talk in other languages as the Holy Spirit enabled them (1 Corinthians 12:10).
Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4 NET)
While the woman that was chosen by God to be the birth mother of Jesus certainly had to satisfy the prophecies, I believe of equal importance she needed to be a woman that had a relationship with God. Mary was and is that woman! I am looking forward to meeting her in Heaven and hearing about what it was like raising the Son of God. I believe the virtuous woman, a woman that reverently fears the Lord, is exemplified in Mary, the blessed birth mother of Jesus:
Who can find a wife of noble character? For her value is far more than rubies. The heart of her husband has confidence in her, and he has no lack of gain. She brings him good and not evil all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax, and she is pleased to work with her hands. She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She also gets up while it is still night, and provides food for her household and a portion to her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; from her own income she plants a vineyard. She begins her work vigorously, and she strengthens her arms. She knows that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out in the night. Her hands take hold of the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hand to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all of her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes for herself coverlets; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is well-known in the city gate when he sits with the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and honor, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also praises her: "Many daughters have done valiantly, but you surpass them all!" Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised. Give her credit for what she has accomplished, and let her works praise her in the city gates. (Proverbs 31:10-31 NET)
Our ways are not God’s ways… (Isaiah 55:8,9) but they will be… (1 John 3:2. 1 Corinthians 13:12).
God’s Thoughts and Ways Series:
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part I (Jeroboam)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part II (Paul)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part III (Lazarus)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part IV (Balaam)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part V (King Saul)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part VI (Abel and Cain)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part VII (National Judgment)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part VIII (Joseph)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part IX (Peter)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part X (Invitation, Refusal, Banishment)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part XI (Mary Mother of Jesus)
- God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part XII (Zipporah, Wife of Moses)
(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation, 1898
(3) In Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament, Mary is called Maria. Mary is also called Maria in Latin. In Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, Joseph, and Mary; Mary is called Maryam. In the Hebrew of the Old Testament Myriam is the equivalent for Mary. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (i.e., the Septuagint) the equivalent for the name Mary is Mariam.
(4) In Hebrew, Beth-lehem is two words and means “house” (Beth as in Beth-el, “house of God”) and “bread” (lehem). Bethlehem is a collection of very fertile villages that grows almonds and, more importantly, olives for oil. It is so fertile because Bethlehem sits on an enormous aquifer, which eventually became the water source for Jerusalem in around 200 BC. There were so many Jewish pilgrims coming to Jerusalem that the city could not cope. The old water supply was contaminated by the animals slaughtered in the temple. They needed freshwater, and this came from Bethlehem. Bethlehem was explicitly built to sit on top of a large aquifer and be the defensive military installation guarding the whole infrastructure. It is a fortress town amongst a series of villages, which is why the Bible always talks about the best tasting water coming from Bethlehem (2 Samuel 23:15. 1 Chronicles 11:17). That is what Bethlehem is: a place that guards the water. About 2,300 years ago, they built a reservoir. Over the course of history, another three large reservoirs were constructed just to the south of Bethlehem, which became known as Solomon’s Pools.
(5) Since Mary’s Father Heli had no sons (6) and Joseph most likely having died by this time it was very important for Jesus to ensure someone took over the elder son’s role of ensuring his mother Mary was cared for in His absence. In addition, through this action, Jesus was in compliance with the 5th commandment (Exodus 20:12. Ephesians 6:2). Why not his other brothers? Well, they did not believe in him yet (John 7:4,5. Psalms 69:8) and there is no mention in the Bible of them being present at Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus later appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:7) and subsequently, he becomes a pillar or leader of the church in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9) and writes a letter in the New Testament that bears his name (James 1:1). Judas or Jude His brother also writes a letter bearing his name (Jude 1:1).
(6) I believe that Heli was Mary’s bloodline father with no male heirs (i.e., Mary had no brothers) in their family. Consequently, Heli adopted Joseph as his “son” when Mary and Joseph were married (cf. 1 Chronicles 2:34,35. Ezra 2:61. Nehemiah 7:63, also Numbers 27:1-11 for inheritance through daughters when there is no son). Thus we have Joseph listed as the son of Heli in what is actually Mary’s bloodline lineage given in Luke 3:23-38. Take note that Luke does not list Mary or any other females in his genealogy of Jesus while Matthew lists five females. Again, in Matthew 1:1-16 the bloodline lineage of Joseph is listed, including five females (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba the wife of Uriah and King David, Mary), since he is Jesus’ legal father and the one through whom Jesus had the legal right to the throne of David and the promises of the Covenant made by God with Abraham. I believe the purpose of the two different genealogies is to show that legally through His stepfather Joseph and by bloodline through his mother Mary, Jesus is the Son of Man, the rightful heir to the throne of David (Matthew 2:1-6. Luke 2:4-6), and to the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant (Galatians 3:16). The sign above Jesus’ head on the cross placed by Pilate was not in error – Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews (John 19:19-22. Matthew 27:37. Mark 15:26. Luke 23:38).