in Genesis of a Savior for mankind predicted the serpent (the devil) would be an enemy of "the woman (Mary) and her
offspring", Jesus (see Gen. 3:14).
Though Jesus was part of the God-head (cf: John 1:1-5, 14), He
obeyed His mother as a youth: "When His parents saw Him, they were
astonished, and His mother said to Him: Son, why have you done this to
us? You see that Your father and I have been searching for You in
sorrow....He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to
them. His mother meanwhile pondered all these things in her
memory." (Luke 2:48, 51). Thus Jesus fulfilled Exodus 20:12.
The very first public miracle Jesus performed was at Mary, His
"On the third day there was a wedding feast at Cana
in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and His disciples had
likewise been invited to the celebration. At a certain point the wine ran
out and Jesus mother told Him, They have no more
wine. Jesus replied: 'Woman, how does this concern of yours involve Me? My hour has
not yet come.' His mother instructed those waiting on table, 'Do what
ever He tells you.'...They did as He instructed them...The waiter tasted the water made wine...Jesus performed this first sign of
His at Cana in Galilee. Thus did He reveal His glory, and His disciples believed in
Him." (John 2:1-5, 8, 9, 11).
Notice in the above that Marys instruction was to do what
Jesus said, and He responds in the tradition of intercessory prayer that goes
back to Abraham (cf. Gen. 20:7, 17). Clearly, Jesus listens to
His mother's prayer! Note too the fact that Marys request
brought Jesus glory, and caused His disciples to believe in Him. Can we deny
that Mary leads others to faith in Jesus, after reading this
First named as being at His Cross was Mary:
"Near the cross
of Jesus there stood His mother...Seeing His mother there with the
disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your
In turn He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother.'
hour onward, the disciple took her into his home." (John 19:25, 26-27).
Jesus dying act was to give His mother to the
disciple He loved, and by example, to all of His disciples. Have you been 'instructed' by
Mary's example, as His disciples were at Cana, and have you taken her
into your home, as the beloved disciple did at the foot of Christ's cross?
Let's see what else the Sacred Text reveals about Mary.
"'What mean such miracles wrought by His hands? Is this not
the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, Joseph, Jude and Simon?
Are not also His sisters here with us?' And they took offense at
Him." (Mk. 6:3-4). "And he (Joseph) did not know her until she
brought forth her firstborn son. And he called His name Jesus." (Mt.
Every age and culture has its own unique expressions. In order to
best understand the true meaning of the Bible, or any book, it
helps to know what those expressions, idioms and metaphors mean. Let's
look at some examples.
A firstborn son is a Jewish legal phrase, meaning the
son was given the rights and duties described in the Law of Moses (see Ex.
13:2; Num. 8:17). So firstborn doesnt imply that
other sons followed. The Jewish term brother and sister can
mean the same as our words cousin or relative. The New Testament
Greek word adelphos also can mean 'relative'. But there's more!
Marks 'Son of Mary' is again a legal phrase meaning the
only son of a widowed woman. When Mary told the angel ''I am a virgin',
she indicated her decision to be a PERPETUAL virgin, a fact attested
to by Isaiah 7:14. So Matthews expression, 'know her until' meant
Joseph had nothing to do with the conception of Marys Son, as is
indicated by Luke 1:31 and 35, not that Joseph and Mary later had
While this would be hard to imagine in our age, celibate
marriages were not unheard of in times past. Jesus Himself indicated as
much: "Not all can accept this...some have made themselves eunuchs
for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 19:11,12). A eunuch is
one who can't engage marital relations, so here, it is a metaphor for
those who willingly abstain from sex.
Luther and Calvin, prime movers of the Protestant revolt, both
interpreted the Bible as supporting Marys perpetual
virginity. The early Christians firmly believed the same.
Scripture shares more insights about Mary: "And a great
sign appeared in the heavens: a woman clothed with the sun, and
the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve
stars...she brought forth a male child, who is to rule all
nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God
and to His throne...she has a place prepared by God, there she
was taken care of..." (Rev. 12:1, 5, 6).
Many see here a
prophecy of the Miracle of the Sun, photographed and witnessed by 70,000 people (including a number of non-believers) at
Fatima, Portugal in 1917. It's also the image described by St.
Catherine Laboure in 1830, which became the miraculous
medal. God crowns Mary with 12 stars, symbolic of: Israel,
the Church and the Apostles.
Revelation 12:13 continues:
"When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to earth,
it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child."
The Bible describes the devil angrily pursuing Mary; just as some
wrongly attack the woman today. Do you side with the
devil, attacking the woman? Or should you side with
Jesus, who loved, listened to and respected His Mother? Does your
church attack or honor Mary?
"Then the dragon became angry with the woman, and went
off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep
Gods commandments and bear witness to Jesus." (Rev.
12:17) In the sense of John 19:25-27, we should be spiritual
'offspring' of Mary: those who keep Gods commandments
and bear witness to Jesus. God crowns Mary, who is 'full of
grace.' So shouldn't we honor Mary, since God does?
So what are some of the things the Scriptures has taught us about Mary? Mary was a perpetual virgin, who concieved Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible reports that Jesus responded to Mary's requests. Mary is revealed as an example of what a good disciple of our Lord should be! Her soul "magnified" the Lord, and she rejoiced in her Savior, just as we should. Her 'yes' to God's will brought Jesus to others, just as our obeying God's will in our life can bring others to know and love Jesus, who is our Lord and Savior!
So it is no surprise that Jesus Himself tells the beloved disciple to take His mother into the disciples' home. Jesus listened to His mother's 'prayer' (which means 'request,' not worship) at Cana. Mary isn't divine, but she is rightly held in high regard in the Gospels. Note the prayer 'The Hail
Mary' is Bible-based. The Scriptures weve read are a sample
of the Biblical praise Mary receives, from Genesis to Revelation. Let us share these insights about the favorable light that Scripture places on Mary with others.