Have evangelical Protestants neglected Mary? If so, how ought we to regard the mother of Jesus?
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The apostle Luke begins his story of Jesus with extended focus upon Mary, mother of Jesus. She sets the tone for the gospel through her song, the Magnificat. She was the first to learn of the coming Messiah, she witnessed his first miracle in John 2, and she was at the foot of the cross when Jesus hung there in agony.
Yet Protestants historically have been uneasy with the veneration of Mary. Timothy George writes about the Protestant belief that Catholic emphasis on Mary is unbiblical. On the other hand, George argues that Protestant neglect of Mary is theologically indefensible as well.
What can we learn from Mary? How should we approach her? How can a better understanding of Mary enrich and deepen our discipleship in Christ? These are the questions we’ll be discussing in this study.
Table of Contents
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26–38, 41–56, 67–79; 2:21–35, 41–51; John 19:25–27
Identify the Current Issue
Discover the Eternal Principles
Teaching point one: Mary is called blessed not because of her virginity or even her humility, but because she was chosen as the person through whom God’s glory would enter most deeply into the human story.
Teaching point two: The church has called Mary the theotokos: “the one who gave birth to the one who is God.” Thus the story of Mary declares both the divine and human natures of Christ.
Teaching point three: Christians ought to beware an excess of Marian piety and the exaltation of Mary as the mediator between God and humanity.
Teaching point four: Mary’s discipleship did not end with Jesus’ birth and childhood. She continued to be faithful to the end, even to the foot of the cross.
Apply Your Findings
ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY
The Blessed Evangelical Mary, by Timothy George(December 2003, 16 printed pages)
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