Should we worship Mary?

Pastor Jeff Struecker

For several weeks, we talked about who Jesus is and what he’s done for us, and while we’re still on this topic of the person and work of Jesus, we’re going to turn our attention to Mary because we’ve been talking about Jesus’s virgin birth over the past weeks. And, of course, you can’t have those conversations without talking about Jesus, Father God in heaven, and Jesus’s mother, a Jewish girl by the name of Mary. Believe it or not, there is a word called Mariology, which is the study of Jesus’s mother. It’s a topic that would help us understand how God worked through humans to rescue humans by sending His Son into the world. 

God’s greatest gift — the gift of love, the gift of eternal life, the gift of forgiveness, and all of those things came for us through Jesus. But don’t forget Jesus came to us through Mary, and Christians have this unusual relationship with Mary. Some people elevate her almost to the point of deity, and some people treat her like she’s no big deal. But I want to help steer you along a little and how we should understand who Mary is after Jesus was born.

The Jewish custom was to take a child and dedicate the firstborn male baby to the Lord. This is something that God commanded His people to do. So Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple when he was only eight days old to dedicate him to the Lord. And while they were in the temple, a couple of very significant people showed up and made some statements about Jesus. One of those was an old man by the name of Simeon, and in Luke chapter two, Luke describes the statement that Simeon made to Mary about this baby. 

Memory Verse

People get a little bit confused about who Mary is but the Bible states that she is a very significant figure. She’s a very important person in our faith because out of all of the women in human history, this is the one whom God selected to bring forth His Son, to help raise Jesus as a baby and help turn him into a man. In fact, at some point in Jesus’s life (we don’t have any of this information.) Joseph, Mary’s husband, disappears. Only Mary was left in the equation, and she stayed with Jesus all the way through his life, death, and resurrection. She was still around when the disciples gathered together in the Book of Acts, which means she’s got a pretty important role in our faith. 

But here’s where the church starts to get a little bit off track with Mary. They have elevated her into somebody she’s not supposed to be in our life. Jesus is the one we worship and the center of our faith. 

Mary happens to be the girl who God selected to carry this child and to help raise this child. But over the centuries, the church has elevated Mary into a person that the Bible doesn’t describe her as.

Three misconceptions about Mary:

  1. Perpetual Virginity– The Bible teaches us that Jesus had half brothers and sisters. In fact, two Bible book authors, James and Jude, claimed to be Jesus’s half-brothers and relatives. In other words, they are from Mary, which means Mary didn’t remain a virgin for the rest of her life.

  2. Assumption– The Bible doesn’t give us any information that Mary was taken up into heaven, and she didn’t have to go through physical death, so there’s no way of making this claim.

  3.  Immaculate Conception– What this says is when Mary gave birth to a perfect son who was born outside of sin. Mary had to be pure and perfect, and God preserved her from being impacted by sin. However, the Bible made it very clear that all of us have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God, and that ‘all’ includes Mary.

Look, I don’t want to denigrate or talk bad about Mary because the truth is, God selected her of all of the women who ever walked on the planet. God picked her to be the one who would carry His Son. But I’m going to put a statement for you, your family, and your small group to think about.

Challenge

You’ll notice there’s no end to this statement. If God can do this through Mary, what can He do through you? And I’m being very literal right now because Mary was just a human being, just a woman, very much like you and like me, yet God used this woman to change the world. And if God can do that through Mary, even though you’re just an ordinary human being, what can God do through you to touch the world?