The Blessed Mary (Part 2)


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We have no issue with calling the mother of our Lord as the “Blessed Mary.” After all, she was called as such by Luke, the Gospel author.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.(Luke 1:41b-45, ESV)
But we should “learn… not to go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6b). We should not ascribe to her titles and functions beyond what the Bible tells us about her.

For example, indeed Mary was described as “Blessed are you among women”. But, in the Old Testament, a woman named Jael (or, Jahel), who killed an enemy of Israel (Judges 4:21–22), was described as such also:Blessed among women be Jahel the wife of Haber the Cinite, and blessed be she in her tent.” (5:24, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition. Emphasis added. Note that this is a Catholic Bible) That shows us that the Bible did not give that accolade to Mary alone.

In one instance, a woman could not help but express her “envy” towards Mary.
 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28, emphasis added)
Indeed, Mary was blessed to bear our Lord Jesus and raise him up as her Son. But the Lord made it clear that He prefers (“rather”) to call blessed those who hear and obey Him. 

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In another instance, His family went to fetch Him. But note what the Lord said.
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:19-21)
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It’s not that the Lord denied that Mary was blessed. It’s not that He was disassociating Himself from His family. But what He emphasized was that blessedness was not about being connected to Him by blood but being compliant to His Word.

Family relationships are not the most important things in life. A woman noted that it must have been wonderful to have been Jesus’ mother. The idea of physical relationship was more important in that day. The whole nation took pride in the fact that they descended from Abraham (cf. John 8:33–39). Jesus pointed out that a physical relationship was unimportant compared with hearing and obeying the Word of God. As Luke emphasized, the gospel is not limited to Israel but is for all who trust in Christ. [1]

[1] John A. Martin, “Luke,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures,  ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 236. Emphasis added.

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