Who was Mary, the mother of Jesus?
Most if not all of us are very comfortable with granting Mary the essential role of Jesus’ mother, while regarding anything additional as veering towards “Mariolatry.”
It seems obvious to us that she should not be regarded as a co-redeemer or “Co-Redemptrix” with our Lord Jesus Christ. Mary was as human─maybe more obedient─ than you and me, starting with a normal human birth, in a place and time, with a subsequent death.
How many of us have one or more Nativity sets we carefully bring out in late November or December as a reminder of that blessed event? Mary is typically represented kneeling and in a few sets, with arms outstretched in awe, joy or adoration. Then, around New Years she is carefully added to the box and put out of sight and mind for another year. Is this where our thoughts should end?
Rosaries and “Hail Marys” take it too far; but one beautiful thing is her total submission to God and His will.
The name Mary occurs 51 times in the New Testament and its use has been attributed to the popularity of Marianne as the last rep of the Hasmonean family who was the second wife of Herod the I. It traces back to the meaning of bitterness. She is the best known woman in the Old or New Testaments. Mary was a humble village woman and likely not affluent.
What a beginning for the greatest man ever to be born of a woman.
WWMD? (What Would Mary Do?)
- The Annunciation-she said yes! ─ Luke 1:26-38
- Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem ─ Luke 2:1-7
- The presentation of Jesus at the temple ─ Luke 2:21-24
- Jesus at 12 discussing the Law with the Elders the ELuke 2:41-52
- Mary’s Special request at the wedding in Cana ─ John 2:1-12
- Jesus brothers and Mary say Jesus is Nuts ─ John 7:1-5, Mark 3:20-35
- Mary is present when Jesus Christ is crucified ─ John 19:25-27
- Mary waits for the Holy Spirit with Others at Pentecost ─ Acts 1:14
Was Jesus an only child and did Mary remain a virgin in perpetuity?
We find in Matt 13:55, 56 & Mark 6:3 James, Joseph, Judas, Simon and other unnamed daughters.
NLT Matthew 13:55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers– James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”
Why was she picked from among all women from all of history?
- Her race and religion and through Joseph her lineage back to King David.
- Her sanctity, she gave herself as a living sacrifice to her Lord.
- She was set apart for a mission ─ Luke 1:29-33,
NIV Luke 1:29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:46 suggests Mary was not without sin herself
Highly favored of the Lord Luke ─ 1:28, 30
NKJVF28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Mary found favor with God. What did that favor cost her?
NET Luke 2:34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. 35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed– and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”
Who else in the O.T. or N.T. would you consider greatly favored by God?
Any costs involved? Any suffering experienced?
Where do we sign up to be in God’s good favor?
Finally, who only deserves our full allegiance and worship?
Let us end by obeying fully the words of Mary the Mother of Jesus found in John 2:5:
NET John 2:5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”