The Blessed Mary of Scripture

I. Mary, the wife of Joseph, is set forth as a very special person in Scripture. A. She miraculously conceived by the Holy Ghost to bring forth the sinless Jesus. LUK 1:35 c/w MAT 1:18-20 B. Miraculous conception was not unique (ROM 4:19) but virgin conception and birth were. MAT 1:23-25 C. She was hailed as "...blessed among women..." (LUK 1:28, 42) 1. Some have inferred from this that she is divine. 2. What, then, of Jael? JDG 5:24 D. Jesus is the fruit of her womb indeed. LUK 1:42 1. He was "...made of a woman..." (GAL 4:4) 2. Because of her Davidic descent, Jesus was "...made of the seed of David according to the flesh..." (ROM 1:3) E. The Virgin Conception was new life within by God's work. 1. Mary was but the passive recipient of this life within. God wrought Christ in her. 2. This is a model of regeneration by the will and work of God within: "...Christ in you, the hope of glory..." (COL 1:27) c/w ROM 8:10-11 3. The good news proclaimed to Mary was not an offer but a declaration of God's work and grace for life, as is the gospel. 2TI 1:9-10

II. Catholicism exalts Mary beyond the Scripture’s declarations of her. A. She is called Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Apostles, Queen of the Angels, Mother of God, Door of Paradise, Our Life, Gate of Heaven, Mother of Grace, Second Eve. 1. Mary is not God’s mother. God is her Creator. a. Scripture does not say that flesh took on God but rather that God took on flesh. JOH 1:14. b. Mary gave birth to Christ’s human nature only. LUK 1:35. 2. Scripture does not associate “Queen of Heaven” with the true God. JER 44:16-19. 3. Jesus declares Himself as THE door. JOH 10:7-9. 4. Jesus is THE life. JOH 14:6. 5. The foundation of the heavenly city has apostles’ names only. REV 21:14. a. We know they were given thrones. MAT 19:28. b. Scripture knows nothing of such a throne for Mary. B. Catholics pray to her as “most gracious,” a superlative grace. 1. Scripture only declares Jesus “...full of grace...” (JOH 1:14). 2. The Douay bible renders LUK 1:28, “...Hail, full of grace...” and Catholicism makes much of the underlying Greek in that text but the same Greek word refers to all saints in EPH 1:6. C. They hold that Mary remained a virgin perpetually. This doctrine was not formally declared until the Council of Chaldedon in 451 A.D. D. Catholics hold that Mary was immaculately conceived and born without original sin, lived sinlessly and had no need of salvation for sin. This was formally stated by Pope Pius IX in 1854. E. They hold that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven. 1. There is not complete consensus on this issue. 2. The general position is that she died, resurrected the third day and was carried by Christ into heaven, declared “ex cathedra” by Pope Pius XII in 1950. F. They generally hold that Mary has a role as a mediatrix in our salvation, another redeemer. 1. It is not uncommonly held that she is more merciful than Christ or God, as mothers are more merciful and tender than fathers. 2. Alphonsus Liguori (Catholic writer eventually canonized as a saint and declared a doctor of the Catholic church) strongly affirmed her as the best “go to” when praying. a. He wrote that the sinner should petition Mary who will then need only show her Son her breasts that He suckled and His wrath would then be appeased. b. Contrast this with LUK 11:27-28. 3. This doctrine has not yet been decreed infallible although there is strong support for it among Catholic theologians. G. So exalted has Mary become in Catholic theology that she rivals Jesus Christ in every good thing, including salvation. She is on the verge of being made part of the Trinity if past trends of reasoning continue.

III. Some observations from Scripture about Mary. A. When the wise men came to the young Jesus, they only worshipped Him. MAT 2:11. B. When solicited by His mother, Jesus set obedient disciples above her. MAT 12:46-50. C. Scripture knows nothing of special treatment or adoration of her by the apostles or Christ. 1. When she sought Him in Jerusalem, He did not admit of any special relationship to her. LUK 2:48-50. 2. When she sought Him at the wedding feast in Cana, He denied any special duty or respect to her. JOH 2:1-4. 3. When He saw her from the cross, He granted her no further favors. JOH 19:25-27. 4. Jesus called her “woman” but not “mother.” JOH 2:4; 19:26 c/w 4:21; 8:10. D. After the marriage at Cana, Mary is not quoted at all. Scripture overlooks her opinions on anything. E. Prior to Pentecost, she prayed with the disciples. They didn’t pray to or obey her. ACT 1:13-14. F. The apostles are specifically said to be foundation stones of the church but not Mary. EPH 2:20. G. Though committed to his care at Christ’s death (JOH 19:26-27), John never wrote of her or her doings thereafter. H. She considered herself of low estate, not of high, exalted, sinless perfection. She rather magnified God her Savior. LUK 1:46-48.

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