One thing that causes me to question this doctrine of Mary having to be "sinless" from birth in order to carry the Lord Jesus in her womb is that it takes away from her the ability to freely choose to obey God. She is in essence, a robot with no free will to accept the great calling God made to her. It speaks to God's foreknowledge, of course, that He knew Mary would accept so He made her completely sinless at birth, but I think it skews the whole idea of free will. If she had said no, would she become a sinner retroactively?
I also wonder why there is no mention anywhere in Scripture of her specifically having this attribute. Surely, such a perfect person could not go unnoticed all those years, could she? Did her parents ever say anything to anyone about what a perfect, obedient child she was and all the neighbors were in awe of her and jealous of her parents? I'm not asking this to be disrespectful - I honor Mary and appreciate her role in bringing our savior into the world - but it just seems unlikely that she would not have been the talk of the town and somebody would have made it known an exemplary woman like her lived. Besides, we already know that the Greek word for sin is "hamartanÅ" which means "missing the mark" and as Romans 3:23 says, we ALL "come short of the glory of God".
Being created without sin didn't seem to stop Adam and Eve from sinning. Nor did it stop the angels who rebelled. According to your line of reasoning it'd be no big deal for Jesus to resist temptation in the desert. Nor would he be able to freely choose the cross.
Peace be with you.
“Surely, such a perfect person could not go unnoticed all those years, could she? Did her parents ever say anything to anyone about what a perfect, obedient child she was and all the neighbors were in awe of her and jealous of her parents?”
“...somebody would have made it known an exemplary woman like her lived.”
Jesus Himself chose to experience the same kind of “anonymity”.
“Isn’t he the son of the carpenter?”
Wanting to be noticed, acknowledged, looked up to, held in high esteem, set in a place of honor, being set apart as special...these are all marks of pride.
For 33 years, Jesus willed to live among his people known only as the “son of the carpenter.”
What He chose for himself, he shared with his mother.
So it was at Bethlehem, where she went unnoticed and without special care and attention and He was born in the silence of a stall.
And as He “humbled Himself to death on a Cross”, so she stood there for three hours at the foot of the Cross, that Cross which was an ignominious death.
And then...in his 7 last words from the Cross, Jesus gave his mother place.
“Son, behold your mother. Mother, behold your son.”
In all of the Four Senses of Scripture, at that moment , in his last will and testament to us, He offered his mother her maternal role to all believers.
First of all, it is clear from those passages that Mary did not fully comprehend what Gabriel was saying (she was "troubled" by the conversation). Secondly, Gabriel makes a reference to two things: grace and the Third Person of the Holy Trinity (the "Holy Ghost" or the "Holy Spirit," in Luke 1:35) which are surely the earliest chronological references to these things in Scripture. In other words, God had clearly seen fit to work through the Holy Spirit to bestow a degree of sanctification upon Mary that at the time hadn't even been given to the most devout historical figures of Israel.
**it takes away from her the ability to freely choose to obey God.**
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.”
It was Mary’s “YES” Mary’s choice!