Mary (Mother of Jesus)

<<virgin mother of Jesus>>

She was engaged to Joseph who she married after Jesus had been born.  Several other naturally conceived children were born to them.  She was present when some of Jesus’ miracles were performed. At the crucifixion, Jesus commended her to the care of John. The Roman Catholics exonerate the Virgin Mary to a higher level than is portrayed in Scripture, considering she not have a sin nature and was, in fact, sinless; termed immaculate conception. Although she was highly favoured by God the Bible does not say she was anyone but an ordinary human whom God chose to use in an extraordinary way and who in turn directed praise to God (Lk 1:27,28,46-49). Neither Jesus, nor the NT writings direct any praise, glory or adoration towards Mary. Elizabeth, praised Mary in respect of giving birth to the Messiah, not for any inherent glory in Mary (Lk 1:42-44). The Bible nowhere indicates that Mary can hear our prayers or that she can mediate for us with God. Jesus is our only advocate and mediator in heaven (1 Tim 2:5).

Her story is told throughout the Gospels and mentioned in Acts 1:14.

Lessons from her life: * Although she couldn’t understand how she would have a child when she was a virgin she trusted God’s message, believing that His promises come true.  Her reply was, “I am willing.  Be it unto me according to your word” – even though it would bring disgrace on her, possible rejection from Joseph, and being thought crazy with her story of being made pregnant by the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:37,38).  Do we willingly serve God and allow Him to use us even when there will be possible negative aspects to deal with? God is still looking for suitable candidates through whom His miracle power can operate. God also trusts us to carry His Son – not in physical form as Mary did before His birth, but in the spiritual sense, in the form of the Holy Spirit. This is an immense privilege and responsibility.

* Mary, when encouraged by Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), burst forth in worship to God (Lk 1:39-56).  This song is sometimes termed ‘the magnificat’.  She acknowledged God had taken notice of His humble servant.  God is more interested in our availability than ability.  He will work through us if we are willing to be used.

* Mary treasured these things in her heart and thought about them (Lk 2:19,33-35,51).  Value and humbly recall the good things people say about you and the good experiences you have been blessed with.  Rather than being a source of pride they will help ease the burden during tough times.

* Knowing it was such a blessing to be used by God, Mary instructed the servants at a wedding, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). She could have said, ‘I can’t predict the outcome but whatever it is will be amazing – just co-operate!’ Does the way we are allowing God to use us and our testimony encourage others to act in faith so they become part of the miracle too?

* Although, as the mother of Jesus, she was present at His birth, death, and “blessed among woman”, we should not exalt her unduly (Lk 1:28,42).  Some denominations call her the ‘blessed Lady’, elevating her to a higher status than is appropriate. She was but a sin-affected human vessel through whom God was able to work and bring blessing. God is the one to be glorified and praised.

See also: advent, immaculate conception, Joseph, Magnificat, virgin birth.