Blessed Virgin Mary
During this time of the year, Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, gets more attention and press than usual. Since Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Herod, a great false narrative has grown up around the details of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the years within the Church of God a culture grew up that shied away from the mention of His mother, Mary. Quite possibly that was in opposition to the false beliefs of the Catholics who worship her and have wrongly elevated Mary, body and soul, to be the Queen of Heaven (John 3:13). We know that Mary does not occupy some elevated status, as Roman Catholicism would have us believe.
What we want to know is what the Bible says about Mary—because all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2Timothy 3:16). We hurt ourselves every time we ignore God’s word. Neglecting what the Bible has to say about Mary causes us to miss out on spiritually valuable lessons gleaned from the interactions that took place between Jesus and His mother.
In studying the life of Mary, we can learn a lot about how God views women. We find that He holds them in very high regard. In no way does He consider them to be lesser citizens. For a while in the Church of God some considered women to be inferior to men. There was a prevailing doctrine that women must be in subjection to men. Taken out of context, that teaching was supposedly based on certain verses (1Peter 3:7):
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)
What was overlooked was the overall meaning of Paul’s words where he was speaking of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32, 2Corinthians 11:2). And, conveniently ignored was the reciprocative verse:
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Let’s start thinking correctly and apply the Scriptures to our lives. The very first Messianic Prophecy in the Bible made reference to "the woman," Mary, and her “seed,” Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:15). Other Messianic Prophecies give much more detail about the virgin birth:
“The Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
God’s word tells us that an angel was sent to a virgin:
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.” (Luke 1:26-27)
Because she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, Mary was highly favored in God’s sight. We can learn much from her life and example.
“The angel came in unto [Mary], and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28)
Jesus initiated His public ministry a few days before He planned to do so, by the miracle of changing water into wine in order to honor a request by His mother, Mary (John 2:4).
“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on him.” (John 2:11)
Jesus loved, honored and respected Mary. She carried Him, she gave birth to Him, she was at His crucifixion when He died, and she was with the apostles in the upper room shortly before Pentecost. After Jesus ascended up into heaven, the apostles, Mary, and others went up into an upper room in Jerusalem:
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.” (Acts 1:10-14)
In today’s sermon we will draw spiritual lessons from the life of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ.
As Christians, we have come out of the world – especially with regard to the pagan celebration of saturnalia [xmas]. Luke’s Gospel shows unequivocally that Jesus Christ was born nowhere near that pagan Roman winter solstice festival of late December. Xmas started in Rome in celebration of the festival: Dies natalis solis invicti, ‘birthday of the invincible sun,’ and has nothing whatsoever in common with true Christianity.
||"Blessed Virgin Mary"