To distinguish her from other Bible characters with the same name, she is called “Mary the mother of Jesus” (Acts 1:14). Mary was the one about whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he proclaimed that a virgin would conceive and give birth to a male child by the name of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
Mary was given the unique privilege of being Jesus’ mother. In that role, she was highly favored by God (Luke 1:28). It is essential, however, that we keep her and her activities in proper perspective. Mary is not now and never has been on God’s level. Each person in the world ought to be a “Christian” . . . one who is a follower of and devoted to the Christ. None of us should desire to be a “Maryite” or “Maryian.”
Mary — submissive to God, but not sinless. The following statement about Mary comes from an article entitled “Understanding Catholic Devotion to Mary,” which is found on the web site “Catholic Online”: “Mary, who was empty of all egotism, free from all sin, was as pure as the glass of a very clean window that has no other function than to admit the light of the sun (Son)” [accessed from www.catholic.org on 10 May 2019; emphasis mine, rdc]. In truth, Mary said this about herself: “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). Mary confessed that God was her “Savior.” From what does God save people? Answer: From sin . . . God saves sinners. If Mary acknowledged that God was her “Savior,” she was admitting that she was a sinner (Jesus never claimed the Father as His Savior because the Christ did not need a Savior). The Bible’s picture of Mary is that she was committed to doing God’s will, but, contrary to the claims made by some, no, she was not “free from all sin.”
Mary — a servant of God, but not Savior of man. Someone came into the world to save sinners. That was not Mary, but Jesus (1 Timothy 1:15). Someone is the way, the truth, and the life through whom humans can come to God the Father. That is Jesus (John 14:6), not Mary.
Mary — a mother, but not mediator between humans and God. The Bible plainly declares, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Could Mary possibly function on our behalf as a second mediator? No. The fact that the Bible says there is “one Mediator” eliminates Mary, John the Baptizer, Paul, and all others from being our mediator.
Mary — a good person, but not God. Again, we know she is not Deity because she claimed God as her Savior (Luke 1:47). There is no unrighteousness in God (Psalm 92:15). God does not need a Savior. Mary needed a Savior. Therefore, she was not God.
Mary — worthy of imitation, but not worthy of worship. Why is she not worthy of worship? Because, as we just noticed, she is not God. When Cornelius fell down to worship Peter, what was the apostle’s response? “But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I myself am also a man’” (Acts 10:26). When John fell down to worship an angel, what did the angel say to him? “See that you do not do that . . . Worship God!” (Revelation 19:10). Worship that pleases God is directed to Him only.
There is no doubt that Jesus’ mother was blessed by the God of heaven. Mary was God’s chosen vessel through whom the Word became flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:1,14). In perspective, though, the contrast between her and the Christ is striking:
Jesus created all things (Colossians 1:16,17). Mary did not.
Jesus lived a perfect life on earth (Hebrews 4:14,15). Mary did not.
Jesus has all authority in the spiritual realm (Matthew 28:18). Mary does not.
Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). Mary is not.
Jesus is the Head of God’s church (Ephesians 5:23). Mary is not.
Jesus makes intercession for the saints of God (Romans 8:34). Mary does not.
Jesus has the power to wash away sins by His blood (Revelation 1:5). Mary does not.
Approximately one out of every six people living in the world today is identified with the Catholic Church. The devotion which some of them give to Mary, the mother of Jesus, is unbiblical. The same is true of the praise which some lavish on her.
— Roger D. Campbell