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What does the scripture say about Mary the mother of Jesus?

Mary – the Mother of Jesus

The Bible says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was chosen by God as a vessel through whom the Son of God would be born (Matthew 1:20-23). For this reason she was “highly favored,” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28). This expression designates Mary as the receiver of divine favor, or grace, not the giver of it. The angel Gabriel did not grant her personal merit to bestow upon others.

Although Mary was a  virtuous woman, like all humans, she needed salvation for “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” ( Romans 3: 23 also 6:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). And Mary herself declared her need for the Savior (Luke 1:47). She never acted as if she had been born without sin, as some have unscripturally claimed.

The Virginity of Mary

The Bible says that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (Luke 1:34-38). We also read that Josephdid not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son” (Matthew 1:25; ). This means that Joseph and Mary did have physical unity until after Jesus was born.

This was prophesied long before Christ’s birth. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah  7:14). The word Immanuel means “God with us.” The Son of God came to live, not only among humans, but to be identified with the whole human family (John 1:1–3, 14; Romans 8:1–4; Hebrews 2:16, 17).

Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). He also had sisters although they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:55-56). While the Catholic Church claims that Mary was perpetually a virgin, this idea has no Bible support.

Mary’s Status in God’s Eyes

Jesus honored His mother, but He did not exalt her above other women, and addressed her as simply “woman” (John 2:3-4; 19:26). In fact, He taught the people saying, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). Thus, anyone who does God’s will is just like His mother.

The Bible mentions that Mary was present at the crucifixion (John 19:25). Jesus asked John, His disciple, to care for Mary as his own mother (vs. 26-27). She was also present at the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Mary is never mentioned after Acts chapter 1. She is not recorded as having any major role in the early church.

Unbiblical Teachings About Mary

The Catholic Church teaches that Mary had an “immaculate conception,” but the Bible doesn’t mention that Mary’s birth was different than other humans.

The Bible also does not instruct us to pray to Mary. This is a Catholic teaching that gave Mary a “saving office.” The Catholic church claims that she grants us “the gifts of eternal salvation,” and that she carries “the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 252. This teaching is contrary to what scripture says.

The Lord declares that, “There is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Only through Jesus can the sinner be reconciled to God (John 14:5–6; Romans 5:1–2). The Bible, here, clearly rules out the need of human mediators and the supposed value that some have attached to such attempted mediation.

The Bible teaches that we are to “Worship God!” alone (Revelation 19:10; 22:9). All adoration, devotion and love should be to God only (Deuteronomy 6:5). Mary herself taught us to glorify God as the only Savior, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is His name” (Luke 1:46-49).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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