"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Jesus Versus the Cult of Mary
"While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, 'Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?' And stretching out His hand toward his disciples, He said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'"
- Matthew 12:46-50
Paralleled in Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21.
Most people are aware of the Catholic practice of the veneration of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In fact, she is even referred to as "co-redemptrix," that is, that she shares the role of redeemer with her divine Son. In 1997, then-Pope John-Paul II prayed to Mary, "Sustain us, O Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation." In fact, here is a website devoted to Mary in the particular role of "co-redemptrix."
Yet, what does Jesus say about His mother? Not that she is a bad person, by any means, but certainly that she has no claim to special consideration. His very words are that any man or woman who is doing the will of God is at least equal to His biological mother, and He specifically points out His disciples, standing close by. One source attempted to avoid this implication by claiming that the veneration of Mary is no more than the veneration of the other saints (officially perhaps, but certainly not in practice!). However, as I have said elsewhere, the veneration of any saints is contrary to the express will of God.
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43