Summary: Mary’s HUMILITY, PURITY, AVAILABILITY. Jesus was a SUBSTITUTIONARY, SUPERNATURAL, SPECIAL, SACRIFICIAL, and SPECIAL LAMB, and He SHOULD be a SOUGHT Lamb. Powerpoint at website.
Mary and the Little Lamb
Formatted text, audio/video, and PowerPoint are at:
I suppose one the most familiar nursery rhymes is the poem, Mary had a Little Lamb. The lamb in the nursery rhyme was pure and sweet.
Surely, every child is at some point introduced to the poem. But more than that, every child and adult ought to be introduced to the Lamb in our Scripture texts this morning, including…
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
First of all…let’s look at Mary. Mary had several qualities which made her an outstanding woman of God. There’s no doubt God would take great care in selecting the human vessel for the high honor of being the mother of His Son. God found a virgin named Mary to be qualified for this high and holy office.
Qualities to consider:
1. Mary’s Humility
v. 46-49 I’m dealing w/ her humility right off the bat to point out that while Mary should be admired and respected, she should not be worshipped. Our Catholic friends make a huge mistake when they elevate her to a goddess and engage in worship of her in that way. We’re not Catholic bashers, but we ARE truth proclaimers…and in 1854 Pope Pius IX defined in writing the Roman Catholic doctrine of the “Immaculate Conception”.
I heard that term and for years thought it was a reference to the virgin birth of Christ, but it is not. Acc’d to Catholic dogma, it’s a reference to the so-called “sinlessness” of Mary.
It says, “the most blessed virgin Mary, from the moment of HER conception, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.” To say that about Mary, or for that matter, about anybody apart from Christ, is heresy!
Sinlessness applies only to the Lord Himself.
Tho’ this doctrine was put in writing in 1854, traces of it go back to at least the 4th C. For example, some early predecessors of the Catholic church:
St. Ephraim said, “there is in thee Lord no stain, nor any spot in thy mother.”
St. Ambrose, “Mary was entirely free from every stain of sin.”
If you’ve ever wondered why they pray to Mary, now you know.
I want to be kind, yet clear, that Mary should not be deified and worshipped. In her own words in v. 49 she makes that clear! She takes great care in not stealing any of God’s glory, so she glorifies Him!
This is Mary’s humility.
Ill.—diamonds are a girl’s best friend. [humbling to all the men as we realize who our best friend is!]
-Well, when a jeweler is asked to put together something special, he first of all looks for what? The diamond! It has to be perfect, w/ no inclusions! The setting is secondary.
Shortly before we moved here I bought Kimberly a new setting for her diamond, making it EVEN HEAVIER than it already was [she had trouble brushing her hair already!] It was meant to accent and make the diamond more special, but it didn’t for long…prongs broke, it tarnished, but the diamond is forever the thing of value!
Jesus came into this world a diamond in the rough, and Mary was just the setting…He is the focal point, He is the object of value!
Humility is tough to cultivate in your life, esp. if God does something great thru you!
Ill.—woodpecker working on a tree, then it got struck by lightning, obliterating it into a smoking, splinterery mess. He flew away in shock, came back after a few minutes w/ 5 other woodpeckers and said, “there it is boys, right over there!”
And isn’t that the way we are when God does something great and we’re nearby? We get to thinkin’ we’ve done something! No, He that is mighty hath done great things…glory to His name!
Mary is a role model to all of us, and we should admire her for her humility. Also…
2. Mary’s Purity
v. 34 “know” is a sexual term.
v. 27 “virgin”
In many modern translations of the Bible today they have taken out the word virgin and replaced it w/ “young woman”…that’s a grave danger! Many young women are not virgins, esp. today! It’s heresy…no, it’s blasphemy! If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, He could not have been the sinless Son of God!
Young people, Mary was a young girl at this time…and a chief quality she had which made her chosen was that she had kept her virginity. You may think it was easier back then, but it was not. Nazareth was a wicked, immoral city, known for it’s moral corruption. Most girls had a baby before they were 14. This is just speculation, but it’s reasonable to imagine that Mary was not as popular as the other girls were…because she wouldn’t hang w/ the crowd that they did, or do those things! She was likely made fun of for “still being a virgin”…lustful boys would make comments like, “if you loved me you would!” [if a boy pushes you like that you slap him so hard his brains ring like church bells on a cold morning!]