The virgin

mary-140553_640Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (ESV)

Only one woman qualifies to be called “The Virgin” in the whole of history and that is Mary the mother of Jesus.

Since she became the vehicle for the son of God to come into the earth. She is seen as special. But Jesus did not speak of his mother as extra special. More than the care of a son for a mother, he definitely did not hint that she should be deified. Someone called out at Jesus: blessed is the womb who bore you and the breasts you sucked. To which he answered: do not get unnecessary excited about that, rather say: the people who do the will of God are those who are truly blessed (Luke 11:27-28).

That the bible was silent about much of the life of Jesus’ father maybe in order to prevent people from worshipping him.

He was a carpenter, which was not prestigious. So not many people can get around making Joseph such a big deal, especially when he was revealed to be such a normal human being when he was suspicious and almost put away his fiancées when he learnt that Mary was pregnant.

We see God intervene by speaking to him in dreams. We see that he was not so special, he could make errors of judgment and could not have been able to stand against Herod’s murderous intention against the child if he were not guided through a dream about what to do.

But Mary was different. There is a greater risk of worshiping her than there is of worshipping Joseph. For starters, it is not every day a young girl gets a visit from angel Gabriel. And there is the fact that she actually carried Jesus in her womb and some people mistakenly used that to call her Mother of God, while Paul said that we are should not judge Jesus after the flesh (2Corinthians 5:16). Those who did not follow that injunction, could not come to the right conclusion about him and even about Mary, who was associated with him physically.

Jesus asked: who do men say that I am (Matthew 16:13-20)? The apostles mentioned different prophets of old, but they all got it wrong. They wanted to associate him with something physical and they got it wrong. It was only Peter who speaking by revelation (divine enlightenment) said: you are the Christ the son of the living God. That was not connected with anything in their previous experience or learning.

Many till today continue to mistake the identity of Jesus. But every attempt at understanding Jesus, by jettisoning revelation knowledge as contained in the bible, will always fall short of who he is, it will be erroneous.

But there is another error, which is about exalting man (created) too much.  It is only God that cannot be exalted too much, but not man. Paul warned that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to (Romans 12:3). We should not exalt others more than we ought to, forgetting that every one of us is dust (Psalm 103:14).

We should not embrace a purported revelation which contradicts that truth in the written revelation of scriptures. Jesus said the scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35), you cannot cut and paste on it. You cannot take anybody’s word for it, you have to be guided by what is written, anything else is deception especially when it borders on hero worship, idol worship and deifying of any human being, e.g. Mary.

The problem comes after people say something that contradicts the scriptures but for the purpose of saving face, they refuse to backtrack, so they continue an illusion, and because of the many people, followers, who have bought into the lie, who we do not want to lose, the lie is perpetuated.

However, there is something to be said for the Mary. To accept to be the one to bear Jesus, she risked many things: her reputation, her future, and her fiancés, Joseph.

How will it sound to be pregnant out of wedlock and to say an angel did it? It might be termed as blasphemy and you might be stoned if you were living in the time of Mary. So the best thing was to shut up.

She carried a heavy burden of his (Jesus) birth, she also carried a heaven burden in his death when her son was brutally killed for nothing.

His son suffered rejection, and Mary shared the same. No wonder Jesus made sure his mother had somewhere to stay, somewhere protected, when on the cross he said to John and Mary, mother behold you son, son behold your mother (John ). In that moment, he, for all intent and purpose, divested his right to be called the son of Mary to John.

He knitted the heart of Mary and John together in filial love. While it is historically accurate to call Jesus the son of Mary, it is functionally erroneous.

The church did not give Mary an undue recognition. For starters, she was not among the twelve apostles, and it was they who assumed the leadership of the church after Jesus rose up from the dead and ascended to heaven.

There was practically no role for Mary to play. It was not in the plan of God. Even while Jesus was alive, before his death, he tacitly disowned his mother when at an occasion he was told that his mother and brothers were looking for him, he said: who is my mother, it is those who do the will of my father in heaven (Mark 3:32-35).

Just as it was part of his commission for him to come and lose his life, to gain a higher spiritual life, he also came to lose his natural relationship to gain higher spiritual relationship with those who do the will of God, which is to believe in him.

The bible was largely silent about Mary after she was mentioned in the first chapter of the book of Acts (Acts 1:14), and we should not make a noise about what the bible is silent about.

In the book of Corinthians, Paul warned against making any apostle to something special (1Corinthians 3:21-23) and in that in the church it is first the apostles (1Corinthians 12:28) and not Mary. He said no apostle died for you so you cannot make any of them into demi-gods.

It is carnality for some to say: I am for Paul and for another to say I am for Apollos, when they are just tools of God to get his work done in the church, Mary did not even have such role. While we are not to disrespect her, we should also not elevated her more than we ought. We cannot allow our emotions for her take us to the wrong conclusion because the scriptures cannot be broken. There is no other way given among men by which we can be saved, except the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).

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