Skip to comments.What did Jesus (not) say about... His mother, Mary?
Posted on 12/31/2010 1:09:10 PM PST by RnMomof7
What did Jesus (not) say about... His mother, Mary?
"You know what you lot's problem is? You just don't think enough about My mother." I've often had two thoughts about Mary: I dearly hope that her heavenly bliss has not been spoiled by the knowledge of how monstrously men came to pervert her significance and place in relation to her Son. And... In that view, I've thought that my article on Mary in a Bible dictionary might read, "The mother of Jesus. A pivotal yet minor figure in the New Testament, mentioned by name in only four books."
On the subject of Mary -- as on all other subjects -- the world divides into two kinds of people: those who affirm the binding sufficiency of Biblical revelation, and those who rebel against it. With the latter, their issue is spiritual in origin, and no amount of reasoning or Biblical evidence will suffice. With the former....
My semi-humorous summary above makes a point, but it is scarcely fair to the real woman, who was a truly remarkable individual. Few if any of us (and certainly no men) can do much of a job of imagining ourselves in her sandals. She was clearly a God-fearing young lady, as we shall see, who found a massive weight laid on her small, young shoulders.
We once dwelt on the difference between aged priest Zechariah and young Mary. The trained expert, faced with a word from God that would bring him blessing and cost him nothing, doubted and was judged. The rustic young girl, receiving a word that would also bring blessing but potentially cost her dearly, simply responded "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). For this, her cousin later said, "blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Luke 1:45).
That tells us a great deal about Mary. Also, when she went to see Elizabeth, Mary burst forth in a song of praise that could be described as a glorious patchwork of quotations from (and allusions to) previous written revelation (Luke 1:46-55). Given that this is presented as a spontaneous outburst of praise, we surmise that Mary had hidden God's word in her heart. This gives us a strong indication as to how she could embrace the angel's word with such believing grace.
Think of it: this is in all likelihood a young teenaged girl. No formal education, no Bible college, no T4G or TGC conferences, no Christian blogging or bookstores. Probably not even a personal copy of the Torah -- just what she heard in synagogue and at home. But Mary received what she heard with such faith and eagerness that it prepared and enabled her for this absolutely and literally unparalleled place in history. It would be churlish at best to denigrate Mary as a believer solely because cultists deify her.
In fact, it is ironic that cultists themselves slander Mary by insinuating that she was in effect an ungodly, faithless wife in standing aloof from her wifely obligations to her husband (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5). Though any word of Scripture can be twisted to say anything when subjected to alien agendas, we do best to take the text in its most natural meaning, and affirm that Jesus was the first of a number of children (Matthew 1:25; 12:46; 13:55; Luke 2:7; 8:19; John 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; 1 Corinthians 9:5), sharing the same mother but separated from them by His virginal conception and birth, and His divine nature.
Yet (and all Christians will add "of course") Scripture portrays Mary as a flawed sinner, saved by grace alone just like every other believer. She knew and confessed that she personally needed a Savior (Luke 1:47). When she tried to hint to her adult Son what she thought he should do, she received a respectful reminder of how their relative roles had changed (John 2:4). We must note the grace with which she accepted that word (John 2:5).
Nor was this the only time Jesus put a distance between Himself and His earthly family. One day when He was teaching the Word of God, His earthly family -- who evidently were not numbering themselves among His students at this point -- stood outside the circle of believing pupils, and tried to call Him from His ministry and back to themselves (Matthew 12:48; Mark 3:33). How did Jesus respond? "Family first"? "Mom first"? Hardly: But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:48-50). So it is hardly surprising that the rest of Scripture gives very little notice to Mary. The New Testament is primarily about Jesus, not about Mary. She has played her role -- pivotal, yet taking up less space in the inspired text than the patriarchs, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, or even Job. As a devoted Son, in His dying moments Jesus assures Mary's continued care (John 19:25-27). Then she basically vanishes from the text, apart from one last appearance in Acts 1:14, where she has finally taken her place on a level plane with every other Christian, in prayer and worship of her risen Son.
So what would Mary say to us today, were she to speak? Would she bid our attention on her, summon the spotlight from her Son to herself to any degree, try to increase her place in the Christian's worshipful consciousness?
Or would she not rather reiterate what she had already said - "Whatever He tells you, do" (John 2:5)?
To ask the question is to answer it. We best honor Mary not by idolatrously focusing on her person, but by embracing her example of humble, devoted, Biblically-informed, self-disregarding, God-centered faith.
She didn’t understand him. ;)
I’m taking it that this is a slap at Catholics. My question to the author is ‘why does it trouble you so much to have Mary revered?’. She was a woman amongst women. Chosen of God for the raising and care of Jesus. THAT is one special lady. The mother of our Lord whether this guy likes it or not.
The only way to God is through Jesus. Worshipping anyone BUT Jesus is blasphemy.
To avoid dissensions we should be ever on our guard, more especially with those who drive us to argue with them, with those who vex and irritate us, and who say things likely to excite us to anger. When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous. --St. Ambrose
Catholics agree; then you say veneration is equal to worship; then things go back around in the same circle while everything BUT Christianity grows in this country. It's a lot easier than attacking Muslims, though, I'll grant you that.
Divide and conquer has never worked better than when after having his earthly religion of Islam stalled, Satan tempted those who should have been working to reform the Catholic Church into leaving and starting their own.
Yes, they do seem to worship all kinds of people.
I wasn’t aware that Catholics worshipped Mary as savior. Where do you get your info?
>> We best honor Mary not by idolatrously focusing on her person, but by embracing her example of humble, devoted, Biblically-informed, self-disregarding, God-centered faith. <<
That’s what every Catholic who focuses on Mary is trying to do. “What Would Jesus Do” is a slightly flawed question. Jesus has the might, power and majesty of omnipotent, omniscient God. When his friends mourned the death of another friend, Jesus raised him from the dead. My faith isn’t that strong; I’ve never raised anyone from the dead. If I did, my pride would be my downfall.
We should seek after miracles. But in those times when we are powerless, when we need the gift of consolation, patience, serendipity, acceptance, we can also look to Mary as a role model of how to relate to Jesus. Then we can build our faith, so we can act more as Jesus did, precisely because Mary can d nothing at all apart from Christ. That’s why Catholics have a saying, “To Jesus, through Mary.”
Protestants often point out that for every “Our Father” (Lord’s Prayer), the Marian Rosary contains 10 Hail Marys. But they miss the point altogether. Each and every mystery of the Rosary teaches us how Mary related to Jesus. For instance, nothing from popular culture has ever embodied the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary more perfectly than “The Passion of the Christ.”
Why is it that Mary drives certain Protestants to such emotions?
I’m glad to see all the Catholics here on this thread. So many times, it’s a protestant dogpile.
Very good article. I think Mary would be mortified that she has been put on a pedestal equal and in some cases above her Savior.
The real biblical Mary never puts the focus on her, when people ask her what to do (wedding at Canaa example), she looks at Jesus and says “Do whatever He tells you to do.”
Mary also knew she was sinful and needed a savior. She also was a normal married woman and had children with Joseph, who did not know her until after Jesus’s birth. She experienced the fullness of normal marriage and it’s not a detriment. Only to those people who want Mary to be a certain fantasy way she never was.
Both Calvin and Luther however did strongly condemn
any devotional practices which implied that
Mary was in any way equal to our Lord
or that she took anything away from
His sole sufficiency as our Savior.
OH Goody! Another ex-Catholic trashing the Church!
"Our prayer should include the Mother of God What the Hail Mary says is that all glory should be given to God, using these words: "Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Christ. Amen!" You see that these words are not concerned with prayer but purely with giving praise and honor We can use the Hail Mary as a meditation in which we recite what grace God has given her. Second, we should add a wish that everyone may know and respect her He who has no faith is advised to refrain from saying the Hail Mary. (Personal Prayer Book, 1522)."
Lutherans used to make a point of this and stress that there was no contention between Catholics and Lutherans on this point. What happened, did Luther get shoved aside for a new Protestantism or something? It's really wild to see this and a couple of other things come up over and over to the point of absurdity.
The same people licking their chop over the chance to attack Catholics don't seem to spend much time on sites frequented by Mooslims. At least they don't post on them much if they do. I sometimes wonder how many of those who use the oldest crap they can find to attack the Catholic Church aren't even Protestants but just people who want to be sure that divisions remain among Christians to make it easier for whatever they're pushing.
From my point of view I only have one question: I can accept that Catholics "venerate" Mary and not Worship her as I have never heard of anyone in the faith depending on Mary for salvation. My problem is simple, Why pray to her? There is simply no Biblical foundation for praying to her or the Saints. The practice makes it appear that she is being worshiped. The Bible is very clear: "There is one God and ONE mediator between God and man and that is the Man Christ Jesus." I Tim. 2:5 I believe any attempt to pray to anyone other than our Father by and through our mediator Jesus Christ is misplaced. I do not believe that it will damn anyone to hell as long as they put their faith in Christ, but I do believe the practice is wrong. If you have an answer for my dilemma, please correct me for I would love to know your understanding of the matter.
How could she be a flawed sinner. Imaculate Conception means she was born without sin.
No, I don’t fully understand that. I was baptized Catholic and a lot of my family are Catholic. I’d prefer to have someone in the faith explain that to you. Just as I don’t believe that people who committ suicide go to hell and I don’t believe that babies who die before being baptized go to hell.
On the other hand, as you’ve noticed, I don’t like it when Christians skewer fellow Christians for one thing about a faith that they don’t understand.
I’ll let someone else answer your question. I’m glad you don’t think Catholics are damned.
I think that what happened was that
Protestantism tended to treat the
Marian views of it's own founders as a
“Vestigial” effect of their
respective Catholic upbringing.
Those who study these figures
would do well to realize the
care each took to establish a
biblical foundation to their beliefs
This spoken by a lifelong Protestant
The way I understand the prayers to Mary and the Saints is this:
You find in Revelation (somewhere else as well but I don't recall where) that the Saints in heaven are presenting the prayers of the faithful still on the earth to the Lord. You also find that the prayers of a righteous man carry more weight if you read Job, and I think, Exodus where Moses was the only one the Lord would hear. So, since those who have died and are in heaven are on a different plane rather than dead, praying to them is just like asking a friend to pray for you with the added benefit that since they've already arrived in heaven they are sure to be more righteous than those of us who remain on this earthly plane.
It's like having somone you know and feel sure is rightous pray for you but in this case you can be positive that they're rightous and that they will in fact pray for you.
Hope this helps.
“But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” John 21:25
Your personal interpretation of Scripture is not shared by the likes of Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, et al.
They have a right to be wrong. The aramaic and greek used to explain this is very clear.
Since when are any of these men proven to be 100% correct on everything they ever wrote? Are you a Lutheran because you believe 100% of what Luther ever said or did? That’s not why I’m Lutheran.
Luther was bound by his conscience and the Word of God. Where Luther’s conscience and the Bible agree, I have no problem with him.
Can I watch too. Can we have a “The Pope is not God” or some other such remark? It might help to throw in a pedophile priest comment or two also.
But you're talking about the historical Mary not the one of Catholic imagination.
The Bible says ALL have sinned and it does not say all but Mary. Since she was born after Adam , that means she was born with sin. In another verse, she says Jesus was her Lord and Savior. She knew she needed Him as much as other people did.
It seems the ones mentioned though except for his mother Mary likely were not his followers. Which would also explain Christ comment to John at the cross "Behold thy mother and to Mary behold thy son". That act fulfilled his earthly keeping of the Commandments by making certain Mary was cared for as John literally took her into his home.
There is nothing (or very little) in the Bible on Mary's relating to or relationship with Jesus...Except for the stories your religion fabricated out of nothing, there isn't anything to really point to Mary as a role model...
You guys have made Mary the Queen of Creation...You bow to her...You pray to her...You ask her to protect you from evil...You ask Mary to provide salvation for you and dispense grace...
You didn't get any of that from the Scriptures...
Salvation and grace do not come from Mary...That doctrine will send people to Hell...
Why should we frequent muzlims sites??? I don't worry about the muzlims taking over Christianity...I know what they believe...I'm not worried about anyone in my family becoming a muzlim...
It's the wolf in sheep's clothing that I keep my eyes on...
Apparently Jesus revealed to you some of those things he did...So hey, fill us in, will ya???
The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in Heaven for their prayers. Why, then, do many Catholic pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers? Catholics view Mary and saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we, believers here on earth, can "...approach the throne of grace with confidence..."
1 Timothy 2:5 declares, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." There is no one else that can mediate with God for us. If Jesus is the ONLY mediator, that indicates Mary and saints cannot be mediators. They cannot mediate our prayer requests to God. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father, "Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25). With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Who would God listen to more closely than His Son? Romans 8:26-27 describes the Holy Spirit interceding for us. With the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in Heaven, what possible need could there be to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?>p> Catholics argue that praying to Mary and the saints is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for you. Let us examine that claim. (1) The Apostle Paul asks other Christians to pray for him in Ephesians 6:19. Many Scriptures describe believers praying for one another (2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 1:3). The Bible nowhere mentions anyone asking for someone in Heaven to pray for them. The Bible nowhere describes anyone in Heaven praying for anyone on earth. (2) The Bible gives absolutely no indication that Mary or the saints can hear our prayers. Mary and the saints are not omniscient. Even glorified in Heaven, they are still finite beings with limitations. How could they possibly hear the prayers of millions of people? Whenever the Bible mentions praying to or speaking with the dead, it is in the context of sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, and divination - activities the Bible strongly condemns (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13). The one instance when a "saint" is spoken to, Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:7-19, Samuel was not exactly happy to be disturbed. It is plainly clear that praying to Mary or the saints is completely different from asking someone here on earth to pray for you. One has a strong Biblical basis, the other has no Biblical basis whatsoever.
God does not answer prayers based on who is praying. God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in Heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in Heaven has any greater access to God's throne that we do through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).
The Lord that I serve makes the decision as to who is damned and who is not. I would be arrogant indeed to step into his sandles. If you name the name of Christ, I'm for you. I don't believe you have to be right on everything to be saved. If you believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ you are saved. I think believe in Christ as God (thus the virgin birth) is a non-negotiable. Belief in the trinity is hard to get around.
Past that, we work out our own salvation. God sits on the throne, who am I to judge?
Just one question, why did Jesus give the care of his mother to an apostle instead of what would be his younger brothers and sisters as he was dying on the cross?
The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church and no one can pluck anyone out of Christs' hand, so I thought the worry was to convert those to Christ who were not Christian. Sorry, I didn't realize the goal was to guard you house from Catholics, Mormons, New Age gurus, and such. I see where you're coming from now.
The Lords earthly hometown was Nazareth about 100 miles from Jerusalem where He was crucified. Matthew ch 13 seems to hint his family and community in Nazareth had rejected Him. Mary chose to follow him obviously as she was there at the cross at Jerusalem. Widowed women were not treated well in those days sometimes even by family and were at the mercy of either family or the Temple to survive. Both had rejected Him so He made a logical choice of having His followers namely John take her into his home.
Now here is something to consider. At one point Christ mother and family came calling for Him and he ignored them when informed they were there. Yet to whom did Christ answer most when they called? The lost, sick, lame, and destitute.
We have through The Holy Spirit dwelling in us a direct one on one path to GOD through Jesus Christ. Our intercessor to Christ can only be The Holy Spirit who intercedes for us when our words or strength fails.
Romans ch 8 26And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we dont even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with Gods own will. 28And we know that God causes everything to work together£ for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.
We do not need to ask departed from this world spirits to intercede because Christ left us the means dwelling within us to accomplish this directly.
IOW which has more power? The Holy Spirit Christ left dwelling within us He calls His own? Or departed saints? We as believers are all made His Disciples and share in the same relationship in Christ which was enjoyed by Peter, John, Andrew, James, Paul, etc.
Doesn't the old testament tell the Jews to take care of widows and orphans? That would not be treating them harshly...
Nazareth being 100 miles away would be not much of a trip when most people walked from town to town as the followers of Jesus did, tho it would take several days unless they could acquire a donkey.
The idea that if he had brothers and sisters and they rejected Jesus (which I don't find in scripture) by Jewish law they would still be responsible for their mothers care as she was a widow....
To me it seems clear that Jesus had no blood brothers or sisters, and perhaps no blood relatives living at the time of his death to care for his mother, because jewish law said they must....
Mary was an only child as was John the Baptist, his cousin...Those are the only relatives mentioned in scripture. John's parents were elderly when he was born and probably passed on. Marys parents were also probably gone...Jesus was 33 when he died, Mary was a young girl, probably teen, so she would be by old standards an elderly woman. But if Jesus had siblings they would be in their 20's and quite capable of caring for their mother.
I just don't find in Matthew what you do...
Have a Happy and blessed New Year....
Let me get this correct, this is the strongest piece of Scripture you muster up to prove that Jesus did not have other brothers and sisters? Wow.
Have you any recollect of who was actually physically present at the cross of Jesus? could it not be that the very reason was none of his brothers and sisters were there and Jesus wanted to not only show his concern for his mom, but also for John, who perhaps also needed someone like Mary?
This has to be the weakest argument I’ve ever heard for Jesus having no brothers or sisters. It’s like I have no brothers or sisters because they aren’t physically present at some big life event. You know I had friends who got married in an exotic location nobody in their family could make it to, does that mean they don’t have brothers and sisters?
Another thing to consider is Mary was to continue to be a part of the ministry Christ established so it made sense she would stay with the 12 where they were located rather than 100 miles away if nothing else for her own personal safety. She was an eye witness to His resurrection. The Temple leaders nor Roman government were thrilled about that.
Really about all anyone can do is speculate about that part of Christ life. If it were real important I think it would be in scripture. Obviously Joesph even though he was not the biological father played a very key roll in Christ life. But he gets no mention after taking Christ to The Temple the second time.
I hope you have a Happy New Years too. Signed a fellow goat keper LOL. Herds down to two now though.
But you trying to read Jesus mind and motivation is also a WOW moment...
Asking a question of you seems that you think I want an argument...not so...so I will take it that you have no answer other than mind reading and motivations of Jesus, without any scripture background..
My question was at least backed by scripture.
Have a Happy & healthy New Year.....
Have a great New Year and what happened to your flock? GG
Your response is total babble. Anytime you see me post, feel free not to reply.
I thought GG's response was quite clear. On an open thread, anyone can reply to anyone, and frankly, I enjoy her posts and hope she does so frequently. GG and I do not always agree, but neither of us feel a need to get snarky about Christ Jesus. Or His Mom.
Wow, that's a new low for the Protestant side - Mary doesn't even rise to the level of a "role model".
Old age mainly and I haven't bred replacements. Lead Nanny died about a month ago at 14 years old. These aren't debudded so the have some sparing scars too. I'm getting to where I can't do the fence maintenance like I once could. So I'll let the remaining ones live out their lives and probably give it up or go to a smaller breed than Nubians and keep a smaller lot.