May 2011

One of the most well-known women in human history was Mary, the mother of Jesus. We read about her and her special role in the very first chapter of the New Testament. The last reference to her name in the biblical record is found in Acts 1:14, where it is stated that she was in Jerusalem with some of Jesus’ closest followers after He ascended back to heaven. At least twice Mary was told, “Blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28,42). In what way was she blessed?

Mary was blessed to have a righteous husband. “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man . . .” (Matthew 1:19). What does the word “just” mean? It comes from a Greek word that means “in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God” [Thayer, word no. 1342]. Any woman, anywhere, in any era, is blessed to have a husband that walks in the paths of the Lord! Of course, Mary was a blessing to Joseph, too.

Mary was blessed to have other family members who were faithful servants of the Lord. Mary was the cousin of Elizabeth (Luke 1:36), who is described as one who was “blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord” (Luke 1:5,6). Be grateful, very grateful, if you have relatives who are faithful servants of God. Do not take such a blessing for granted. Many saints are the sole members of their families who are in the Lord.  Be sure and take time to exhort your relatives who are part of the Lord’s body.

Mary was blessed to be a mother. She is called “the mother of Jesus” (John 2:3). Some women do not like kids and plainly inform others that they do not want to have any of their own. There are those who even think that having kids has “ruined” their self-centered lives. Other married women would love to bear children, but for reasons beyond their control, they are unable to conceive them. Those women who are able to produce children and serve as a mother should count it as an honor. God’s word says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). Yes, Mary was blessed to be the mom of several children (Matthew 13:55,56).

Mary was blessed to be the mother of the Son of God. Before Joseph and Mary came together as husband and wife, the angel Gabriel told Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest . . .” (Luke 1:31,32). Out of all the women in human history, only Mary was given the special privilege and honor of giving birth to the Christ.  Bible references to the Messiah as the seed of a woman (Genesis 3:15) and being born of a woman (Galatians 4:4) point to Mary. With the privilege of bearing the Christ also came the awesome responsibility of caring for and training Him.

Mary was blessed to be a virgin until after she was married. She was a virgin when Gabriel foretold that she would conceive (Luke 1:27). She was still a virgin at the moment that she conceived her firstborn (Matthew 1:20-23). And, according to the Scriptures, she was yet a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (Matthew 1:24,25). It was a blessing to the marriage of Joseph and Mary that she presented herself to him in marriage as a virgin. Those of you who are unmarried, keep yourselves pure for your future spouse. You will be thankful that you did. Do not sleep with another until you are married, for only in the bond of marriage are such physical relations permitted (Hebrews 13:4).

Mary was blessed to know the power and authority of Jesus. Many today are unaware of Jesus’ power and authority. Others know the truth about Him, but refuse to acknowledge and accept that truth. When Jesus and His mother were both attending a wedding in Cana of Galilee, she told the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it” (John 2:5). Jesus now has all authority in heaven and earth, ruling as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Blessed are those who, like Mary, see and accept our Lord’s power and authority.

Mary was blessed to have a son that cared for her well-being. There are many sorry, good-for-nothing sons in the world today. Jesus was not such a son. When He was hanging on the cross, He made arrangements for someone to care for His mother after His death, saying to her and to the disciple whom he loved, “Woman, behold your son! . . . Behold your mother!” (John 19:26,27). From that hour, that disciple took her home to live with him. Christians should never neglect their parents. If your children are now helping to care for you, be sure and express your thanks to them.

Mary was blessed, but that does not make her worthy of our worship. Yes, Mary found favor with God (Luke 1:30), but so, too, have many others. According to the Bible, we should only worship God (Matthew 4:10). Mary indirectly confessed that she was a sinner, saying, “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). What kind of people need a Savior? Sinners do. Since Mary needed a Savior, she was a sinner, and since she was a sinner, she was not God (for there is no unrighteous in Him, Psalm 92:15). Since Mary was not God, she is not worthy of our worship. Those who worship her violate the will of God.

In so many ways, Mary was greatly blessed. May God help us to see those blessings in her life and learn valuable, practical lessons from them.

Roger D. Campbell

TRUTH is published monthly by the Klang church of Christ in order to help educate, edify, encourage, and equip the saints of God.

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