Summary: Character Study: Mary (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Luke chapter 1 verses 26-56.
• A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does.
• The next day in a written test, she included this question:
"My full name has six letters.
The first one is the letter M. I pick up things. What am I?"
• When the test papers were turned in,
• The teacher was astonished to find;
• That almost 50 percent of the students;
• Answered the question with the word “Mother”.
• Of course not all mums are perfect, sometimes they can be embarrassing:
• Unknown to her son, one mother wrote this letter:
"Dear Sir: My son has been accepted for admission to your college and soon he will be leaving me. I am writing to ask that you give your personal attention to the selection of his roommate.
I want to be sure that his roommate is not the kind of person who uses foul language, or tells off-colour jokes, smokes, drinks, or chases after girls.
I hope you will understand why I am appealing to you directly.
You see, this is the first time my son will be away from home…… except for his three years with the paratroops regiment."
• When the will of Henry J. Heinz,
• Wealthy distributor of the famous "57 Varieties" line, was read,
• It was found to contain the following confession:
"Looking forward to the time when my earthly career will end, I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will, as the most important item in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I also desire to bear witness to the fact that throughout my life, in which there were unusual joys and sorrows, I have been wonderfully sustained by my faith in God through Jesus Christ.
This legacy was left me by my consecrated mother, a woman of strong faith, and to it I attribute any success I have attained."
This morning we are thinking about one of the greatest:
• If not the greatest mother of all-time,
• Mary the mother of Jesus.
I want to look at this topic in 2 ways this morning:
• (1). The background facts.
• (2). The narrative itself.
Let us look at the background facts:
(1). An over emphasises.
• For example in the Roman Catholic Church;
• (Now I’m not on a Catholic bash this morning.
• Might surprise you to know,
• That I have worked with Roman Catholics on a number of occasions (have a go afterwards)
• That doesn’t mean I agree with all they teach;
• Especially what they teach about Mary.
• They have a number of beliefs about Mary, which I believe are an over-emphasis;
• Actually they are wrong because they go beyond this book!
• These beliefs exalt Mary to a place and position that the Bible does not give her.
• And as a result,
• They cause us protestants to react by going to the other extreme.
• It is important to take a few minutes to see what is wrongly believed about Mary.
(1). MARY AS MEDIATRIX:
• This teaching asserts that Mary mediates the salvation that Jesus Christ won on the cross.
• It teaches that none of God’s graces come to us except through Mary.
• People who hold this view teach;
• That without Mary’s submission in the plan of God, there would have been no Jesus;
• No Jesus of course equals no salvation,
• So they would say; Mary is an essential player in the plan of salvation!
• So from this teaching comes the wrong doctrine;
• That asserts that Mary mediates the salvation that Jesus Christ won on the cross.
• The New Testament makes it quite clear (e.g. First Timothy chapter 2 verse 5).
• There is only ‘ONE mediator, between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus’
(2). MARY AS A PERPETUAL VIRGIN:
• Perpetual virgin simply means; Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus;
• And remained a virgin always. Never having sexual relations & therefore children.
Note: Once again if you examine the New Testament;
• It is quite clear that although Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.
• She did not remain a perpetual virgin afterward the birth of Jesus.
• The Bible clearly shows that Jesus had brothers and sisters.
• (Luke chapter 8 verse 19; Mark chapter 3 verse 31).
• In fact one verse Matthew chapter 13 verse 55:
• Gives to us the four names of Jesus’ brothers ‘James, Joseph, Simon and Judas’
• The verse also uses the word sisters, implying more than one!
• Mary may well have had at least six, maybe more children after Jesus was born.