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                        "MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS"

                              Luke 1:26-28


1. An important person in God's scheme of redemption is Mary, mother of
   a. Introduced by Luke, with the visit by the angel Gabriel - Lk
   b. Mostly remembered for her role in the birth of Christ - Lk
      1:29-56; 2:1-19

2. Mary is worthy to be called "blessed" (Lk 1:48), but we need to
   distinguish between...
   a. What the Bible actually teaches about Mary
   b. What has been taught by sources outside the Bible

[To have a proper understanding of Mary, the mother of Jesus, let's
first review the...]


      1. Luke's genealogy of Jesus is thought to through Mary, not
         Joseph - Lk 3:23-38
         a. Note that Jesus was supposed to be "the son of Joseph"
         b. But was "of Heli" (i.e., Mary's father)
         c. Which explains the apparent contradiction between Matthew's
            and Luke's genealogies
         d. Mary descended from David through Nathan - Lk 3:31
         e. While Joseph descended from David through Solomon - Mt 1:6
      2. That she was descended from David is also implied by:
         a. The angel's statement that Jesus would receive the throne of
            His father David - Lk 1:32
         b. Other similar statements that imply a flesh and blood
            relationship through Mary - Ac 2:30; Ro 1:3; 2Ti 2:8

      1. Is clearly attested to by Luke - Lk 1:26-38
      2. Likewise by Matthew - Mt 1:18-25

      1. She likely had normal relations with her husband after Jesus'
         a. Joseph "did not know her till" she had Jesus - Mt 1:25
         b. This strongly implies he did afterwards
      2. She likely had other children
         a. Jesus was "firstborn Son" - Mt 1:25; Lk 2:7
         b. Which normally implies she had others
      3. Jesus is said to have four brothers and at least two sisters
         - Mt 13:55-56
         a. Some claim that these were children of Joseph from a
            previous marriage
         b. Or that they were actually cousins of Jesus
         c. But taken at face value, it is clear Jesus had siblings

      1. We learn a lot from Gabriel's visit and her subsequent visit
         with Elizabeth - Lk 1:26-56
         a. Her faith in God, humility, obedience
         b. Her praise of God, and familiarity with the OT
      2. She demonstrated faithfulness in her service to God
         a. The circumcision of her Son - Lk 2:21
         b. His purification and presentation in the temple - Lk 2:22-28
         c. Her observance of the Passover - Lk 2:41

      1. Her primary task was to bear the Savior and raise Him up
      2. As He began His work, there was a necessary gradual separation
         a. Intimated early on, when the boy Jesus was at the temple
            - Lk 2:41-51
         b. Evidenced further at the wedding feast in Cana - Jn 2:1-5
         c. The emphasis upon His true family in His teaching - Mt
         d. The entrusting of her to John's care at the cross - Jn
      3. She is at last seen with the disciples of her Son, following
         His ascension - Ac 1:12-15
      4. Her role from being mother of Jesus has shifted to being a
         disciple of Jesus

[What may surprise some is that once the church began on the day of
Pentecost (Ac 2), we never read of Mary again in the Scriptures!  But
over the past 2000 years there have been quite a few...]


      1. From the second century A.D., many have taught that Mary
         remained a virgin
      2. That Jesus' brothers and sisters were either cousins or
         step-siblings (children of Joseph from a previous marriage)
      3. This view has appealed to those who view marital sex as less
         than holy (contra He 13:4)
      4. She could have remained a virgin, but the Biblical evidence
         suggests otherwise

      1. During the fourth to six centuries A.D., theotokos became a
         catchword of Christological orthodoxy, that stressed the
         divinity of Christ
      2. Though not a Biblical term, as first used it did teach truth
         about Mary - cf. Lk 1:35
      3. But it has come to suggest erroneous Mariological connotations
         (e.g., Mary as the Mother of God)

      1. During the middle ages, some believed it required the
         intercession of saints to find forgiveness for post-baptismal
      2. According to this view, who better to intercede for us than
         Mary, the Mother of God and Lady in the courts of heaven?
      3. Biblically, such need is unnecessary - cf. Ro 8:34; 1Ti 2:5; He
         4:14-16; 1Jn 2:1

      1. Together with the intercession of Mary came the veneration of
      2. Distinctions were made:
         a. Latria (true worship) is proper to God alone
         b. Hyperdulia (extreme honor) is proper to Mary, Queen of
         c. Dulia (honor) to the saints
      3. But in practice, such distinctions are of little significance;
         adulation to Mary in prayers and hymns have sometimes surpassed
         those given to the Godhead
      4. Yet not even apostles nor angels accepted adulation or
         obeisance - Ac 10:25-26; Re 22:8-9

      1. In the nineteenth century, Pius IX decreed the doctrine of
         Immaculate Conception
      2. Many think this refers to the virgin birth of Jesus, but it
         declares that Mary was conceived without Original Sin,
         preparing her to be a suitable mother for Jesus
      3. This also postulates that Mary went on to live a life without
         sin - contra 1Jn 1:10

      1. In 1950, Pius XII decreed that Mary, at the end of her life,
         was physically taken into heaven
      2. This idea first came from apocryphal fourth-century writings
         (e.g., The Passing Of Mary)
      3. It became an established teaching across the Eastern, Western,
         Coptic and Oriental churches from at least the late 7th Century
      4. Views differ as to whether she died or fell asleep before being
         taken up into heaven


1. Extrabiblical developments continue in Mariology (or perhaps more
   properly, Mariolatry)...
   a. Mary as the mother of all Christians
   b. Mary as Mediatrix
   c. Mary as Co-Redemptrix
   d. Mary as Queen of heaven
   e. Reparations to the Virgin Mary

2. Mary certainly occupies a place of honor and dignity in the
   a. For her role as the human mother of the Messiah
   b. For her example of faith, humility, and devotion

3. Thus we can agree with...
   a. Gabriel:  "Blessed are you among women!" - Lk 1:28
   b. Elizabeth:  "Blessed are you among women!" - Lk 1:42
   c. Mary herself:  "For behold, henceforth all generations will call
      me blessed." - Lk 1:48

4. But Mary was not perfect, at times she possessed bewilderment...
   a. At the statements made when her Son was presented in the temple
      - Lk 2:33-35
   b. At the conduct of her Son in the temple when He was twelve - Lk

A balanced view of Mary and her role in the plan of redemption will be
limited to the Biblical evidence, for it is evident how far afield
people will go when left to their own devices, and we have warnings not
to add to the Word of God... - cf. Deut 4:2; Pr 30:6; Mk 7:6-13; Re

Note:  Much of this material was taken from an article on Mary by G. W.
Bromiley, (1988; 2002). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,
Revised (3:271). Wm. B. Eerdmans.
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