Who Is Mary?

Christians have fallen into two errors in their views of Mary, the mother of Jesus. By and large, Protestants have ignored her. They seem to forget that she was God’s chosen vessel, through whom the Son of God was brought into this world as the God-Man, Jesus. Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel sets the standard for all who hear the word of God: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). On the other hand, Roman Catholic teaching about Mary goes far beyond what the Bible records. For example, they deny that she gave birth to any children after Jesus was born, claiming that “brother” and “sister” means “cousin” in the passages which refer to Jesus’ siblings. But if that were true, then “mother” should not mean that Jesus came from Mary! In the early centuries of the Church, pagans were notorious for degenerate sexual mores. Some Christian leaders sought to counter this by stressing the value of virginity, and held up Mary as an exemplar of perpetual abstinence from sex. Later, the Pope declared that Mary had no sin of any kind; that she herself was conceived apart from sin; and that she ascended directly to heaven. Finally, Rome decreed that Mary is Co-Redemptrix with Christ, and that all grace flows to us from her. It is best to restrict ourselves to what the Bible says: Mary was Jesus’ mother. Though she did not always understand Her Son and His mission, she remained loyal to Him and eventually, along with His brothers, became one of His disciples (Acts 1:14), and thus a member of His “forever family.”