Monday, January 14, 2008

Mary Blessed Like the Rest

"And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”" (Luke 11:27-28, NKJV)

The veneration of Mary is a substantial part of the Roman Catholic Church. A lot of those from a Protestant tradition do not know or understand the degree to which Mary is exalted. In Roman theology Mary is prayed to, honored as a perpetual virgin, and considered to have been translated directly to heaven in bodily form. This high view of Mary escalated throughout the centuries. Today the Mary of the Roman Church is quite different from the Mary of the Bible.

The exaltation of godly people is not a new thing it is quite natural. In Acts chapter 14 the men of Lystra wanted to worship the apostle Paul and offer sacrifices to him because he healed a man. Paul’s response was "and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them," (Acts 14:15, NKJV)

In our text a group of people come together and begin to venerate Mary in the presence of Jesus. Rather than affirm their accolades He points them in a different direction. Being the vessel by which God brought Christ into the world was not in itself a thing to be praised. True blessings are to those who hear and obey the truth. Jesus and Paul are consistent.

The ground is level at the foot of the cross.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17, NKJV)

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