What comes to mind when you think of Mary the mother of Jesus / Yeshua?
Are there thoughts that cause you to be divided against others who also call upon Yeshua as their Lord and Savior?
Depending on your upbringing, or the things you hold to as 'truth', you may view Mary (or what people think about Mary) in a positive, neutral or negative way.
You may have the thought to either diminish or elevate her, her status, or the ideas about her...most likely depending on your current opinion of her (or of what you know, have been taught to believe, etc.).
In this man's opinion, and with regards to salvation, what you think or believe about Mary means very little contrasted with what you think or believe about the child she bore into the world.
What I mean is that God doesn't demand a Ph.D. in theology as a qualifier into heaven / entrance to paradise / salvation.
And when it comes to details about certain things, and whether you know or believe certain details and disbelieve or deny other details, aside from Yeshua dying and rising again to bring you salvation, the details are arguably beyond a salvation issue (faith in what is stated and linked in this sentence being primary).
Your heart's condition towards others may be a disqualifying factor.
How you view from your heart perceived enemies and people who believe things you don't.
Some would argue quite forcefully in favor or against what I mention, but these are the things religions are made of, aren't they.
One man's religion demands they honor Mary in a certain way, and demand others believe certain terms and ideas attributed to Mary.
These are looking through volumes of information and ideas regarding the things they believe in, as they perceive the Word of God and further revelation and thought development.
Another man's religion vehemently denies such ideas and calls another man's religion false, apostate, and many other protesting terms, claiming instead their ideas are correct and so forth.
These too are looking through volumes of information and ideas regarding the things they believe in, as they perceive the Word of God and further revelation and thought development.
Yet a very literal passage of spirit-spoken terms was revealed from Above:
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
- Luke 1: 42-43This was spoken through Elizabeth, cousin of Mary, who was previously barren and in old age, but was now pregnant with John the prophet, the prophet who would be baptizer of Yeshua.
It is expressed “the mother of my Lord” and “blessed are you among women”.
For some men, this phrase wasn't clear enough, or sufficient enough, to attribute to Mary.
Why this phrase couldn't have been the basis, and unifying factor regarding Mary's relationship to Yeshua, I don't know...but God always has a greater purpose beyond our limited view and understanding.
It seems God had a greater purpose in allowing divisions to arise.
It can be argued that “my Lord” is not the same term as “my God”, but what was Thomas' response after having seen Yeshua in the flesh after having risen from the dead?
Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Yeshua told him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
- John 20: 28-29In the Gospel we see Christ having fulfilled, repaired and rebranded what has always been long established: mankind in relationship with God – obedient, aware and praising God in their words and actions.
Going beyond God in Christ is building a wider understanding of the significance of Messiah on earth, but the manner one builds shouldn't be cause for division between human beings, but sadly such is a typical outcome of building.
Instead of building bridges, walls are built.
When considering 'who' and 'what' Mary signifies in relation to Christ, it seems to me that the divine message still speaks, although subtle for some, despite perceived differences and objectionable arguments being voiced from various religious ideologies.
This article isn't about laying blame, or supporting an argument of who is right, but rather to point at a bigger picture showing how significant beliefs have been spread despite the arguments against them.
The significant belief is that ideas, people, and how people approach others, are important and special.
Yeshua in the flesh was special...to this man, Yeshua is the most special and significant reality to occur on earth.
Mary was also special.
The entire lineage that brought forth Christ was special; from God to Adam to Noah to Abraham to David, wives and relatives included.
The legacy Yeshua left in people of all nations and languages the world over is special; the kingdom invisible among and within the believers – the church.
Peter, Paul, even Thomas, are special.
We see very specific character lessons and attributes in such as these, enabling each and every human being on earth someone to relate to.
This is why it says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
We can learn from their triumphs and failures, since they too experienced the life of God and then Christ in themselves in some way and at some level.
The saints, either listed on some church role or in heaven (heaven's scroll being the “official” list), is part of the great cloud of witnesses.
Just because you, or your specific religious leaning, does or does not acknowledge certain people to be saints doesn't mean God hasn't sanctified them.
While in the flesh the faithful ask for others to pray for them, regarding our weaknesses and hope for strength, why are others who ask those now a witness in that cloud, accused and vilified for doing so?
It is a matter of faith, doubt, ignorance and misguidance, I think.
All who believe themselves to believe in God (and suppose they are correct in their perceptions of and beliefs in God), may believe themselves to also be special; special not meaning 'superior' to others, but special in knowing something quite amazing regarding God...and what God has done for them.
To be continued in Part 2.