There are some that say that the Bible really says very little about Mary. However, that is quite contrary to the truth. There are actually a lot of references to Our Lady. For some of these references, you have to do a little bit of digging.
Let’s start at the beginning of the Bible. She is first mentioned in Genesis 3:15, as the Woman whose offspring (Jesus) will crush the head of the serpent (Satan).
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
We see her, again, in a prophecy in the book of Isaiah.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
However, we find most of our references to Mary in the Gospels, probably mostly because she lived during the time that the New Testament depicts to us. We see many glimpses into the mystery of this masterpiece of God’s creation. Catholics hold that Mary was born free of sin thus making her fit enough to bear God’s only son. First, she is greeted by the Angel Gabriel. How did the Angel greet her?
“Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!”
This translation is very familiar to Catholics and the Bible, but let’s take a look at how other translations read Luke 1:28.
“…Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
“Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
It seems a great deal of effort is being put in place to minimize Gabriel’s greeting to her. However, we can know that the greeting was unusual and astounding because of Mary’s reaction to it no matter what translation one uses.
“But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.”
What those other translations take great pains to hide is that Gabriel said she was “full of grace”. It was, indeed, an unusual greeting. What does this passage mean? It means she was 100% filled with sanctifying grace, with no blemish on her soul. It means that we have proof of her immaculate conception (which is when she was conceived by her mother and not when she conceived Jesus).
What else does the Bible say about Mary?
It tells us that she is the mother of God in no uncertain terms.
“But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.'”
“…and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
Obviously if you are already a Christian then you know that this worship is not in vain since we are all taught that Mary was the mother of Jesus.
And here is another Catholic favorite:
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; 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!! [emphasis added] And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Now, if Mary is “just another woman,” why would Elizabeth be in awe that she was granted a visit from “the mother of my lord?” It just doesn’t make sense that if Mary is any old person and not to be revered in some way that she is treated with such respect and has many honors bestowed upon her such as being “full of grace” and the other examples given.
The Bible shows us that Mary was the perfect example of obedience and humility.
“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
It tells us how Mary meditated on all of God’s words and actions.
“But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
It tells us that Jesus was obedient to her.
“And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.”
It tells us that Jesus first Public miracle, even before His time, was performed because she asked it of Him.
“When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.’ So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water it now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.'”
Some say that Jesus was rebuking Mary by calling her “woman,” but that is another issue best left for another time.
It tells us how Mary was anguished when she could not find her son for 3 days.
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, ‘How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?'”
It tells us that she came to see Him while He ministered.
“While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.” *Note: “brothers” here means relatives…i.e. cousins
[related: Brothers of Jesus?]
It tells us that a “sword would pierce her soul” (her pain of Christ’s passion), in order that the heart’s of many would be revealed!
“…and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.'”
It tells us that “all generations would call her “blessed” yet this is not carried out today by some “Christians” as they tend to disregard Mary as ever being important.
“…for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”
It tells us that Mary stood at the very foot of the cross as her Holy Son died. And He gave her to us as a spiritual mother.
“So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
It tells us that when the apostles prayed in the upper room that, again, she was with them.
“…and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
She is mentioned, yet again, by Paul.
“But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law…”
Finally, we reach the book of Revelation where she is shown most compellingly in chapters 11 & 12. It is here, that we are given an eye-opening view of just who she is. Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.
Everything in the OLD Covenant is a foreshadowing of the new. The Ark of the Covenant held the ‘Word of God’, both in the OLD Covenant (the Torah) and the new (Jesus). Read the first few lines of the Gospel of John. Jesus is the Word, the Word made flesh, so wouldn’t he deserve an ark as well? The Ark was so holy it wasn’t even to be touched. Those who had the Ark with them were never defeated. Make no mistake, The Ark of the Covenant, and the queen of the apostles (the 12 stars in Revelation) is Mary.
“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.”
We know that the woman is Mary because we can see who her son is.
“She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne…”
Then, we are told that the dragon wages war with HER and HER children, who are the true believers of God.
“Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.”
This last passage not only shows proof of Mary in the Bible and her importance, but it shows that all followers of Christ, all Christians, are children of Mary as well as we already know that we are children of God. The grammar and syntax of that passage do not say otherwise. “Her offspring” refers to the statement that immediately comes after the comma of that statement. “Her offspring” are the followers of Jesus Christ. We are new people reborn in Christ through baptism, thus his Father becoming our Father and only logically his mother becoming our mother.
It is all there in the Bible. You see, for reasons I can not explain, some people are so convinced that Catholics worship Mary, that they overreact and commit what I feel is a grave sin. Mary is reduced to the role of an insignificant player in God’s plan that God used and then threw away! People like to say that none of this is on the Bible, but it was clearly demonstrated above that many and all Marian ideas are straight from Scripture! Now, I ask you? Can you think of a single other example, in Scripture, where God uses someone once then casts them aside like yesterday’s newspaper?
While you ponder that, here are a few other things to may make one stop and think about for a moment:
- The Bible says Jesus “… grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. ” (Luke 2:40) Who taught him, and helped Him grow strong? While realizing that He had a Divine nature, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that He was fully human as well! He was a human who had to learn to talk, to walk and, yes, even to pray. This paradox seems inconceivable to us, but Scripture tells us that Jesus was like us IN ALL THINGS except sin. So Mary bore Him, fed Him, clothed Him, bathed Him and taught Him; all the things a mother would do. And some would like to go on like none of this is important.
- Jesus was the perfect man. As the perfect man, He would have perfectly obeyed the law, yes? Well, the law (Torah) says “honor your father and mother.” Jesus would not only honor her, but He would do it perfectly. If Jesus, the perfect man (and God) honors Mary, how can we do wrong by doing so? Now, some will say Catholics cross the line and worship Mary but that’s absurd and results from an incorrect view of worship.
- Jesus is the only person, in all of history, with the ability to choose His mother. That He chose Mary is reason enough for me!