Should we give our devotions to Jesus or Mary?

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By BibleAsk Team


The question of whether devotion should be directed towards Jesus or Mary is a topic that has been debated within Christian theology, particularly within the context of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The Bible emphasizes devotion to Jesus as the central focus of Christian faith and worship. To explore this topic, we will examine relevant passages from the NKJV of the Bible.

Devotion to God in the Old Testament

Man’s devotions should be given only to God. The Lord commanded, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27, NKJV). This is a direct quote from Deuteronomy 6:5. To offer our devotions to God in the sense here stated and implied is to dedicate our entire beings, affections, lives, powers, and the intellect to Him.

God wrote the Ten Commandments with His own hand on stone twice. The first commandment states: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3, NKJV). Being the only true God, the Lord requires that He alone be worshiped. God appeals to us to put Him before all else. To put Him first in our love and give Him our devotions goes along with our Lord’s injunction in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:33).

People usually find it hard to trust in God whom they don’t see and try to place their faith in humans or things of this world (Matthew 6:19–34; 1 John 2:15–17). But we need to keep our devotions to God alone. We owe wholehearted allegiance and devotion to Him. Dependence upon humans places us in peril (Psalm 146:3; Jeremiah 17:5).

We violate the spirit of the first commandment, when we give our devotion to a mere human being like Mary, and forget the One who created all things (2 Corinthians 4:18) and suffered and died on the cross to redeem us (John 3:16). He alone is both our Creator (John 1:3) and Redeemer (John 15:13). Ultimately, God refuses the worship and service of a divided heart (Exodus 34:12–15; Deuteronomy 4:23, 24; 6:14, 15; Joshua 24:15, 19, 20). Jesus Himself said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24, NKJV).

He who truly “knows” God will keep His commandments because the “love” of God is “perfected” in him (1 John 2:4–6, NKJV; Matthew 5:48). For to love God with all the heart is a fulfillment of His law (Romans 13:10 also 8:3,4). Praise God! This kind of love is made possible in the believers by the grace of Christ (John 14:15; 15:9, 10).

Devotion to Jesus in the New Testament

The Exclusivity of Jesus

One of the central tenets of Christianity is the exclusive worship and devotion to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as the Son of God, the Messiah, and the only Mediator between God and humanity.

  • John 14:6 (NKJV): “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”

This verse from the Gospel of John emphasizes the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way to God the Father. It underscores the unique role of Jesus as the divine Savior and Mediator and emphasizes the centrality of faith in Him for salvation.

Jesus as the Object of Worship

In the New Testament, Jesus is depicted receiving worship from His disciples and followers as the divine Son of God.

  • Matthew 14:33 (NKJV): “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.'”

This passage from Matthew recounts the disciples’ response to Jesus walking on water, where they worship Him and acknowledge His divine identity. It reflects the recognition of Jesus as worthy of worship and devotion due to His divine nature and authority.

Jesus’ Role as Mediator and Intercessor

Another aspect of devotion to Jesus is His role as the only Mediator between God and humanity, as well as His intercessory ministry on behalf of believers.

  • 1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV): “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”

This verse from 1 Timothy highlights Jesus’ unique role as the mediator between God and humanity, emphasizing the exclusivity of His mediation and the sufficiency of His sacrifice for salvation. It underscores the centrality of Jesus in the believer’s relationship with God and the efficacy of His intercession on behalf of believers.

Biblical Emphasis on Devotion to Jesus

Exclusivity of Worship

The New Testament consistently emphasizes the exclusivity of worship and devotion to Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God and Savior of humanity.

  • Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV): “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This passage from Philippians underscores the universal lordship of Jesus Christ and the acknowledgment of His divine authority by all creation. It affirms Jesus’ rightful place as the object of worship and devotion for believers and underscores the centrality of His name in the Christian faith.

Role of Jesus as Savior and Redeemer

Central to Christian devotion to Jesus is His role as the Savior and Redeemer of humanity, who offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe in Him.

  • Acts 4:12 (NKJV): “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

This verse from the book of Acts emphasizes the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. It underscores the necessity of faith in Jesus as the only means of reconciliation with God and entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Mary holds a special place within Christian tradition as the mother of Jesus and a model of faith and obedience, the New Testament emphasizes devotion to Jesus Christ as the central focus of Christian faith and worship. Jesus is depicted as the divine Son of God, the exclusive object of worship, and the mediator between God and humanity. Man should not give his devotion to a created being such as Mary but only to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. As believers, our worship, praise, and devotion should be directed towards the Creator and Redeemer Jesus Christ, who alone is worthy of all honor, glory, and adoration.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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