As I was preparing to write this article, I looked over at my wife who was holding our youngest son who is now seven months old. As I watched them I began to think of Mary holding Baby Jesus so long ago. What a joy she must have had as she realized she was not holding just any baby, but the promised Messiah Himself.
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She had been told about Him before He was even born. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33)
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What a privilege it must have been to be able to give birth to the Lord and to raise Him from a little baby. No wonder both the angel and Mary’s cousin Elisabeth said that she was blessed among women.
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The words of the angel leave no doubt that Mary was a wonderful woman. “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28)
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Though Mary was a wonderful woman, some have raised her much higher than she deserves, even suggesting she was sinless and saying that she provides for our salvation along with Christ. Such teaching is blasphemy, for Jesus Himself said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
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Some may argue that by trusting in Mary, they are only trusting her in addition to Christ, but Acts 4:12 makes it very clear that there is no one else to trust other than Jesus Christ when it comes to salvation: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
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Even Mary’s own words show that she was not depending on her own righteousness but on God Himself. “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46-47)
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So if Mary isn’t our co redeemer with Christ, why did the angel say that she was highly favored and blessed among women? The answer is easy. It was a wonderful honor for her to be able to give birth to God in the flesh. It was something no other woman would get to do, but that did not mean that Mary was the only woman in history that was highly favored or blessed by God.
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In fact, hundreds of years before Mary another woman was also praised for the important role she played in God’s plan. “Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.” (Judges 5:24)
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Though Mary and Jael were both significant women in God’s plan and both were blessed to be used of God, neither of them can help us into heaven. There is only one mediator between God and man, and that mediator is Jesus Christ, not Mary or any other clergy for that matter. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Timothy 2:5)