The Mystery of Mary, Mother of Jesus

Scripture: Exodus 20:3, Matthew 6:6, Luke 2:33
Date: 05/12/2012 
There are many myths about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Was she divine? Is it proper to call her the "mother of God"? Was she sinless? Should we worship Mary or pray to her? Where is Mary now?
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Good morning. I’m thankful to see each of you here. In a special sense this weekend, we’d like to remember and recognize and thank God for the mothers in our midst and just let them know we appreciate them. I hope we didn’t run out of carnations when you came in today.

But, you know, as I was considering the message today, I was thinking about mothers in a general sense. And one thing that I realized was being a mother today, at least in the Western world, has more demands than any other time in history. Young ladies that decide to start families sometime end up with three or four children, a job, and they call them soccer moms or supermoms. And it becomes so stressful to try to maintain taking care of the kids and taking care of the job and running them to all their appointments and to their soccer games or music lessons, maintaining as a priority the spiritual values, doing it all with the electronic equipment.

Some are doing it with a single family home where it’s just the mother or just the father and that just compounds the difficulty. And they can get discouraged, thinking how can you do it all and how and you do it well. And then with the media holding forth as examples for us these perfect moms, supermoms, that are unrealistic, manufactured by advertising industries, a real mom can start to feel a little insecure. And as I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about mothers in our world today. And one of the things that has compounded that is to take the mother of Jesus and turn her into a goddess.

Now how many of you would like your children to be perfect, those of you who are mothers? I mean, why would you want anything less than perfection, but if they could be perfect. I mean, if you would like to say, well, I may not be perfect, but my child turned out perfect. How many mothers can say they ended up with a perfect child? Only one that I know of. Well, some of you think that you’re in that category. But just in case you didn’t know, really there’s only one mother that claim that she ended up being a mother to a perfect child. And that would be the mother of Jesus, better known as Mary.

But there are more misunderstandings and more misconceptions and more myths about Mary than any other mother in history. And you may think that it’s a little bit incongruous during the Mother’s Day weekend to talk about Mary in this way, but I really think is very appropriate and I’ll tell you why. I think that when we understand who Mary really was and how Jesus really turned out that it’s going to encourage mothers to know, you mean she was really normal? She was really human? But to understand that, we need to explain and explode a lot of these myths and misconceptions about Mary.

Well, first of all, Mary’s one of the best known people or mothers in history. It is the most common name that is chosen for a little girl. When you list the most popular names, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, I think this also includes some from overseas, Mary beats most by two to one. And then I put a list up there of what some of the other most popular names are; Isabel, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Emily. Did I name anyone out there today? Any of your babies? Those are some of the popular names. But Mary beats them all two by one. Why? Because in much of the world, Mary is deified as a goddess. She is supermom, superhuman. And that really is a distortion from what the bible teaches about who Mary was.

Maybe a little bit more about the name. Mary is the Greek way that you would really say the Jewish Miriam. Now, Miriam, of course, was the oldest sister, she had two amazing younger brothers; Moses and Aaron. You want a great prophet, you ever want a priest. She was a prophetess in her own right. But the name Miriam, it really means stubborn, rebellious, bitter and you remember they had the Waters of Marah. And maybe Miriam was named Miriam because she was born during a time of a foreign occupation, where the people were being enslaved. And Mary, likewise, was born during a time of a foreign occupation where the people of Israel were enslaved by the Romans.

Something else is interesting if you just draw a couple of parallels between Miriam and Mary. Miriam was crucial and responsible for preserving the savior when a decree was made to kill all the baby boys. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, also was instrumental in preserving the savior when there was a decree of Herod to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem. So just a couple little thoughts I thought I would mention there as we introduce the subject of Mary.

You might also be interested to know that not only are there over a billion Catholics and many Orthodox people around the world who worship Mary, even in the religion of Islam, she is held in the highest regard among women. If you read in the Quran, the only woman who is mentioned by name in the Quran is Mary. There are other woman who are mentioned, but it doesn’t same their names. Only the name of Mary. And it’s interesting that she’s considered one of the most righteous women in the Islamic tradition. But they do not believe she was divine.

Well, now as you read the story of Mary, there’s something very important we find out. You see a little difference between the genealogy that is giving in Matthew from the genealogy that is given of Jesus in Luke. Matthew follows the genealogy from David to Joseph. In the genealogy of Jesus that you find in Luke, it follows it also from David because both Mary and Joseph were of the tribe of David, but it comes through Joseph’s father-in-law, better known ad Mary’s Father.

Jesus is the combination of the divine conceived by the Holy Spirit, Mary was a virgin, and flesh. Between God and man. So we know that on one side, the father of Jesus is God the Father conceived by the Holy Spirit. God so loved the world He gave His Son. So on the human side, you’ve got Mary. So she’s really responsible for the human side. Was Jesus 100 percent human? Yes. And he was 100 percent God. I mean, it’s hard for us to understand that it’s a mystery of Godliness how God could become a man. The incarnation is a mystery.

So here you’ve got this prophetic pedigree that goes through Mary to Jesus. And you can read about this in Luke 1:26 - ‘In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a City of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin, a spouse, she’s engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.’ Interesting, interesting. Before the children of Israel went to Egypt, it was because of a prominent character named Joseph they ended up in Egypt. When they left Egypt, it was because of a prominent character named Mary or Marian, same name, when they left Egypt. So here you’ve got a Joseph and a Mary at both ends of this enslavement and then they have the liberation.

Now, there are a lot of misunderstandings, a lot misconceptions, a lot of myths about Mary. Mary was a real person in history. Mary was 100 percent human, zero percent divine anymore than you and I. And this is something that shakes people because a lot of people pray to Mary. They look upon Mary as a God. Mary has sort of been drawn into some the feminist goddess mentality that began with ancient Babylon where she was held up and worshipped. So it may seem a little awkward, but I’m not trying to take away from Mary at all, but I do need to make it clear; what does the bible really teach about Mary? Is Mary a type of God? Is she divine? Is she to be prayed to?

We’re going to look at some of these important points because once you understand how real and normal Mary was and what an incredible responsibility she had in raising Jesus and if God could help her do that, then we might think there’s hope for us. See what I’m saying? But if we think that Mary was a supermom, that she was divine, then real moms might think, well, I could never do much because I am not divine. And so I want you to understand that we’re going to deal with some of these myths about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

First of all, one of the common names that’s often applied to Mary, she’s called the Mother of God. Mary the Mother of God. Now, most of us don’t get shaken by that very much, but do you know, that may not be appropriate to call Mary the Mother of God because was Mary the Mother of the God-side of Jesus or the man side of Jesus? If Jesus were to be divided 50/50, the God side and the man side, she’s conceived by the Holy Spirit. God would be responsible for the part that Joseph normally would have played. Mary is responsible for the part that a man would play. The other problem with calling Mary the Mother of God is God is everlasting. How can someone be the mother of someone who is everlasting unless they’re divine? So there’s been this attempt through history to make Mary divine.

Can you be the mother of the creator? How can the creation give birth to the creator? I know the incarnation is a mystery, but to really say that she’s the Mother of God almost makes it sound like God has a beginning and that Mary was there at the beginning of God. Now, Mary was the mother of Jesus for his earthly incarnation, but she’s not the Mother of God. You’ve got the Father and God the Son and God the Spirit. Mary is not the Mother of God. That is a gross overstatement.

Secondly, does Mary bless the human race or was Mary blessed by God? See, there’s a big difference between your being a blessing to everybody and your being blessed. The idea that we prayed to Mary and that she’s the one who blessed us is really not what the bible teaches. You can read in Luke 1:48, Mary said, ‘For henceforth, all nations will call me blessed.’ She is the one who is blessed. She is not the blessor. Now you understand the difference there?

How many Christians can be blessed? Have you read Matthew 5? ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the peacemakers.’ Blessed, blessed, blessed. Who gets to have those blessings? Everybody. You can go through the bible and there are scores of people in the bible that it says we’re blessed, that declare I am blessed. But it’s a whole different thing when you say I’m the one who blesses humanity. Now, you and I are all blessed in what Mary did in being a good mother for Jesus, but she’s not in Heaven now dispensing divine blessings. Do you see the difference of what I’m talking about?

Ephesians 1:3 - ‘Paul said blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.’ Through whom are you and I getting our blessings of salvation? Through Mary or through Jesus? It’s through Christ. How do you and I have the right to any blessing that God gives? Is it through Mary that we have that access? Or is through Jesus that we’re all given those blessings? By the way, did you know that Jesus never in the bible calls Mary mother? Not once does Jesus refer to Mary as mother. I just wanted you to think about that. Is Mary all-knowing? You know, that’s one of the characteristics of being divine, that you’ve sort of got this prophetic intuition.

Luke 2:33 - ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled that those things were spoken by him.’ They were often amazed and perplexed by what Jesus was doing and what was happening around them, they couldn’t figure it out. From the time the angel first appeared to Mary until Jesus was hanging on the cross, she was trying to sort of what was going on. Even though Simon had told her a sword would pierce her own heart and she had been given prophetic warning, so had the apostles been given prophetic warning, when the time came, they were totally thunder-struck. They were bewildered by what happened.

Luke 2:19 - ‘But Mary kept these things and pondered them in her heart.’ The word pondered there means she wondered, when the shepherds came and the Wiseman came, she’s wondering what in the world is going on. Now she knew that there was something special about her and this child, but she certainly wasn’t all-knowing. And then again in John 2 at the wedding feast, when they ran out of wine, John 2:3 - ‘The mother of Jesus said to Him, they have no wine. And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman…’ Now what does he call Mary? Now that really was a term of respect. It’s madam and he wasn’t being disrespectful there. I know when I was growing up, the kind of Hells Angels called their girlfriends woman. They called them motorcycle mamas. It was sort of a derogatory term. And so when I then got the bible after growing up in that culture and I heard Jesus call his mother woman, I thought, wow, that’s not very nice. But back then, it really meant madam. It was more appropriate. He said, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with me?’

See when Jesus began his ministry, he was basically letting Mary gently know, now for that first 30 years of my life, I was subject to you and to Joseph. I was an obedient, loving son. I believe in the commandment to honor my father and mother, but I have been anointed now. My ministry has begun. You cannot dictate what happens with my ministry. Now I especially must be about my father’s business. So he was gently letting her know that he was sort of distancing himself from her in that respect. They didn’t know.

And again, if you look in Luke 2:48, do you remember when Jesus was 12 years old and they went to the temple? It says that they lost track of him. Mary thought that Jesus was in the crowd when they were heading back home to Nazareth. They didn’t know that he was missing. Finally, they search around and they can’t find him. They come back to Jerusalem where they left him. They find him in the temple. He’s talking to the doctors and the theologians and they’re asking him questions and he’s asking them questions. And when they finally see him, they’re amazed. She didn’t know. Can you imagine trying to explain to God the Father that you lost Jesus? You misplaced Him?

How many of you have ever misplaced your children before? Come on, I see Karen raising her hand. I could raise mine. You don’t want to admit it. You’ve never been looking out the window and wondering where they went? You’ve never gone from room to room and wondering where they went? I think we’ve probably all had our moments where we wondered where they were. But what if you were given the responsibility for raising the Messiah and you lose him for a day and a half? Man, you’d be calling 911. They were amazed. And his mother said him, son, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously. And he said to them, why did you seek me? Did you not know? No, she didn’t know. Did you not know I must be about my father’s business? Of course, he’s 12 years old at that time. But they did not understand that statement that he spoke to him.

Mary was very human. There was a lot she didn’t understand about Jesus’ life and his mission, yet she was a remarkable woman. She was a dedicated woman. She was a Godly woman. I’m going to look forward to seeing her in heaven. I’ve got a lot of questions to ask. It’ll be very interesting to interview Mary and find out about what it must have been like.

Next question, number four. We’re going through a series of about seven questions and a few other thoughts. Was Mary sinless? Now I think this is important to understand because, you know, according to the Catholic church, Mary was sinless. Now that might surprise you to hear that, but absolutely. And when we talk about the immaculate conception, when I first heard that term, I thought the immaculate conception was talking about when Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary, but that’s not what the Catholic church means by the immaculate conception. They’re talking about in order for Mary to be the Mother of God, who is sinless, he can’t be touched by sin, which means she must somehow miraculously be conceived by her mother, Mary’s mother, as sinless for her to be the Mother of Jesus and him not be tainted by sin. I’ll explain more of why that was important adjustment to make in their theology. So they believed that Mary was sinless, but the bible doesn’t teach that.

Romans 3:23 - ‘For we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God with one exception on planet earth.’ There’s only one exception of someone who was human that did not sin. 1 Peter 2:21, 22 - ‘Because Christ also suffered for us leading us in example that we should follow in his steps, who committed no sin. Nor was the seed found in his mouth.’ Jesus was sinless. Mary, we can assume, like other humans, sinned. You know another reason I know that? Because she needed a savior. That’s right.

Luke 1:26, 27 - ‘Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.’ So she was a virgin. But that’s different than being sinless.

You know, the Catholics believe that Mary had perpetual virginity. Do you know what I mean by that? They believe -- and some of you here, how many of you have Catholic background? I went to Catholic schools. Some of you maybe went to Catholic school, you’ve got a Catholic background. And you realize, we love Catholic people. We’re just talking about a teaching that develops misconceptions about Mary that could probably even make some mothers think that she was a goddess and so how could they possibly compete? The doctrine of the immaculate conception tells us that Mary was born of a mother who was born without sin, that God somehow did something miraculous in the mother of Mary. And this is according to the Catholic encyclopedia.

But in Luke 1:46, this is the part I don’t want you to miss, Luke 1:46, do you have your bibles? Mary’s praying that famous prayer, the Magnificat, and in that prayer she says, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.’ Now why would Mary need a savior if she was sinless. Do sinless people need a savior? Savior from what? The angel said, your son will be called Jesus because he will save people from sin. And so the very fact that Mary says, ‘God my Savior,’ she’s talking right then about her own child. Mary was saved by the sacrifice of Jesus, just like everybody else. She needed forgiveness by sin. Isn’t that true? And every mother in the world, from Eve to all the mothers in the world today, need forgiveness for sin. There’s only one who has not sinned, and that was Jesus.

Hebrews 4:15, 16 - ‘For we don’t have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore boldly come to the throne of grace that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ So if you and I want forgiveness, do we have to go through Mary to get to Jesus? Or does the bible tell us that you and I can go directly to Jesus, boldly, through Christ’s sacrifice because He is our High Priest. We don’t need anyone to be an additional or assistant intercessor.

Now what’s often taught, and I remember when I went to Catholic school, we had statues of Mary everywhere. My dear friends would go and they’d pray before Mary. And, you know, I believe God hears their prayers, but I think that they often misunderstood the nature of God because I thought, why are you praying to Mary? And they said, well, Mary’s the mother of God. I said, but can’t you just pray to God? Well, you know, God’s got this vast universe that he’s taking care of and she’s got this close relationship and so if you go to her, then she’ll get his attention and she’ll bring your case before Jesus because he’s so busy. Somewhere built into this theology is the idea that you need one extra person to get to God the Father, aside from Jesus. That really is a heresy, biblically.

Because of Christ, through Christ, you and I can go directly to God the Father. We don’t need another divinity to get there for us. Jesus loves us all directly. You and I can go directly to God the Father. We don’t have to go through Mary. Jesus is not so busy that he doesn’t know our prayer and somehow Mary’s got to go tug on his shirtsleeve and say, Son, there’s this other person praying and they need your attention. That really insinuates that God and even Jesus are not all knowing. The Lord knows what things you have need of before you even pray. You can boldly before the throne through Christ, who is your intercessor and your High Priest. No, we don’t have to pray through Mary. Nothing in the bible teaches that. These are additional dogmas that have developed over the centuries.

Was Mary divine? This is question number five, in case you’re keeping track, so you’ll know when the sermon is going to end. There’s only 45 points that I’m going to make here. Point number five. No, not really. Matthew 13:54 - ‘When he came into his own country, he taught in their synagogue,’ his own country means Nazareth, ‘so that were astonished and they said where did this man get this wisdom and what are these might works? He’s almost beyond man with this incredible wisdom. Where did it come from?’ And it goes on to say, ‘Where did this man get this? Is not this the carpenter’s son?’ By the way, at that point, Joseph had probably died. ‘Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? His brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, Judas, at least four brothers. And his sisters, are they not with us? Then where did he get all of these things?’ So that’s obviously it’s not biblical that Jesus is divine.

By the way, I started a point that I never finished making. I asked you about perpetual virginity. The Catholics not only believe that Mary was sinless, they believe that she remained a virgin, even after Jesus was born. And they figure that, you know, when you have a church where they say that nuns should be celibate and priests should be celibate, they look upon sex as something sinful. It comes from their concept of original sin. In sin, my mother conceived me. They take those versus and they say there’s something dirty about sin, so in order for Mary to be sinless, she could never have had relations, normal marital relations, with Joseph and that also becomes a reason to support or defend the celibacy of the priesthood and the celibacy of the nuns.

But where in the bible does it teach that sex is sinful within marriage? Or didn’t God tell Adam and Eve before there was even sin, ‘Be fruitful, multiply. The marriage bed is undefiled. He that finds a wife finds a good thing. It’s a blessing.’ There is absolutely nothing wrong with intimacy within a marriage. And what does the bible say? Did Mary stay a virgin beyond the birth of Jesus?

It says Matthew 1:25 - ‘But he, Joseph, had no marital relations with her until she had born a son.’ Now if I were to say I never let my children drive the car until -- as soon as I say the word until, what does that mean? Finally did. And so when it says they had no intimate relations until Jesus was born, what are you to assume from that? That means that they had a normal married life after that. And there’s nothing in the bible that teaches anything other than that. So there’s a lot of things that have kind of made Mary seem just out there distant, ethereal, separated from humanity.

And the bible says the opposite, that she was very much human. She was not divine. Even in his own home town, they said, ‘Where did he get these supernatural teachings? We know his mother, we know his brothers. And what the neighbors in the town say is they’re normal people. He should be normal, too. Do you hear what they’re saying in Nazareth? They didn’t say oh, yeah, and his mother, she’s supernatural, too. They didn’t say that about Mary. They said, he’s got an average family. He’s a carpenter’s son. Mary’s son. And the brothers, we know them all. Everything normal about the family. Well, what was extraordinary about Jesus is where he taught. They said, where did he go to university? Well, by the way, Mary was extraordinary in some ways.

I’d like to read a little quote to you from the book Desire of Ages. One of the best inspired commentaries on Jesus. Page 69, ‘Where did Jesus learn these things, from a university? With deep earnestness, the mother of Jesus watched the unfolding of his powers and beheld the impress of perfection on his character. With delight she sought to encourage that bright receptive mind, through the Holy Spirit, she received wisdom to cooperate with the heavenly agencies in the development of this child who could claim only God as his father.’ Notice she doesn’t say God as his mother. The child did not receive instruction in the synogue schools. His mother was his first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, he learned of the heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoke to Moses for Israel, he now was taught at his mother’s knee. Isn’t that something? Here, his mother is repeating to Him.

And by the way, Mary was obviously illiterate. Jesus knew how to read. He knew the scriptures by memory, but Mary is now reading and teaching him the scriptures. The very scriptures that Jesus gave, who is the word, to Moses, she is now reading to him. Did you know that Susanna Wesley, the mother of John Wesley, Charles Wesley and a bunch of other Wesleys. I forget how many children she had, like 18. A lot of kids. Once you get passed four, it may as well be 20, it just doesn’t matter after that. Because mom and dad don’t have enough knees left anymore.

So she taught her kids to read with the bible and by the time John Wesley was five years old, and Charles, they read freely from the bible anywhere. And I think Mary did this, too. She taught Jesus the word of God from the youth when his mind was so receptive. Kids at a certain age, they memorize everything. They’ve got incredible memories. We had a young person here one day that, I don’t know if you remember, they went through a whole chapter in Revelation from memory. And they had actually memorized the whole book, but they just did one chapter for us. And sometimes kids have these incredible memories.

Jesus doesn’t say that if we want to be saved we must come to Mary. He says, ‘Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest.’ Amen.

Should we pray to Mary or should we worship Mary? Let’s start with that. Number six, should we worship Mary? When the Wiseman came into the house after the birth of Jesus and they brought their gifts, Matthew 2:11 - ‘When they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his Mother and fell down and worshiped them.’ I see a lot of you are looking at me. You don’t have your bibles open. It doesn’t say they worshiped them, Joseph and Mary and Jesus. It says they worshipped him. They worshipped the child. And when they opened their treasures, they gave it to their parents so that they could take care of it for him. Well, they presented their gifts to him. Gold and frankincense and myrrh. You’d do that for a child, a little more than a baby? He was the one to be worshipped. He was the reason they made the trip. It wasn’t Mary. Mary worshipped him, too, because she is a sinner. She is a created human like the rest of us that need a savior.

By the way, there’s a command that deals with this. Exodus 20 - ‘You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make yourself a carved image, a likeness of anything that is in heaven above or the earth beneath or the water under the earth and you shall not bow down to them nor serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous god visiting the inequity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me, but showing mercy unto thousands of those that love me and keep my commandments. You will not take the name of the Lord your God in vain for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.’ I can think of three commandments here I just read where Mary worshipped becomes a problem. Having someone else as a God, praying to statues of Mary, praying to Mary instead of praying to God.

Which leads me to the next point. Should we pray to Mary? Where in the bible are we commanded to pray to Mary? But do over a billion people in the world from several churches, by the way, pray to Mary as though she’s divine? Does the bible support this?

Pope John Paul II, addressing a Mary in shrine, a shriner’s statue of Mary in Poland, this is on the 7th of June 1999, he prayed thus, ‘Hail oh daughter of God the Father, hail oh Mother of the Son of God, hail oh Bride of the Holy Spirit, temple of the most holy Trinity.’ Did you get that? This was Pope John Paul II and he is praying at a shrine of Mary in Poland and in his prayer that is carefully worded, and when popes pray publicly like that, it’s scripted, that the father, Son and the Holy Spirit are all somehow within Mary. That’s just harking back to something that came from ancient pagan teachings of goddesses.

Matthew 6:6 - Jesus said, ‘But when you pray, go into your room and when you shut the door, pray to your Father who is in heaven, your father in his secret place and your father who sees in secret he will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetition as the heathen do.’ That would mean like saying a certain prayer like Our Father over and over again or Hail Mary. Where are we told to pray that as a prayer? And there are probably over a billion Hail Marys said every day. Of course some people don’t go to confession, but the ones who do might have to say several. And it’s almost like a prayer to Mary. ‘Do not pray in vain repetition as the heathen do.’

God knows what you need before you ask. For they think they’ll be heard for their much speaking as though you’re going to get extra credit by repeating a prayer over and over again. Friends, these things come from paganism. And it’s not only affected Christianity, it affects a concept of what a mother is. God was able to give supernatural power to a very normal mother through the Holy Spirit the same way he can give the Holy Spirit to mothers and fathers today. You don’t have to be a god or a goddess to live an extraordinary life.

I guess that would be the core of something I wanted to share with you today. So where does all this come from? It comes back from Paganism. It comes from goddess mythology that found its way into the Christian religion, all the way back to the time of Babylon. You can read about Cush begat Nimrod. It’s understood he had a wife named Simaramus and when Cush died, you know about Nimrod who was the mighty hunter, it says before the Lord and that really means against the Lord, the same way you can be translated there into Hebrew. And when Cush died, legend has it, the Nimrod married his mother. That’s already a little weird. And then they had a child and then Nimrod eventually died and the child started to become, when she later got pregnant again after Nimrod died, she said I was impregnated by the son and this child is now the God of the Son and son worship found its way in and all through history then you see these pictures of these mothers nursing baby boys they claimed were conceived by the gods.

Now the devil always knew that God was going to come into the form of a man. God had said it right there. Mary in Genesis 3:15, that prophesy, this was no surprise, so the devil has sought to counteract what would happen when Jesus came into our world by creating counterfeit virgin births. He knew in advance and so he always institutes the counterfeit in advance to throw people when the real thing comes.

So many of these pagan religions, the goddess claimed to be conceived by the gods or by the son. And you can take your pick. You can have the Babylonian goddess Ishtar who gives birth to the god Tammuz. In the bible it talks about the women weeping for Tammuz. It’s in the bible. This son who died prematurely. You’ve got the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and her son Adonis. Simaramus, Nimrod, Horace. In Egypt, you’ve got the Egyptian goddess and I think that’s one of the pictures up on the screen there. You’ve got Horace and there she is nursing her little baby Horace, the goddess is Isis. And you know what I think. And then you’ve got this next picture you can put up there, you see Mary. And this is actually very much like a statue of Simaramus you would find in Babylon with the crowns and they often have a halo of sun god.

And of all things, if you don’t think it’s affecting the world today, this goddess mentality, yesterday’s Time Magazine. I actually had to edit this to try and keep it decent for church. It shows a mother nursing her baby boy, he’s three going on four. And just a little over the top for motherhood, in my opinion. We don’t have to leave that up on the screen very long. That’s long enough. Just know that’s on the news counters. I actually had to edit it for church and I’m still wondering if I went too far.

What happened? Pagan ideas about mothers and divinity and even womanhood have found their way into the church and it’s gotten to where we deified Mary and lost the concept that she was very real and very human.

So what do we do if need forgiveness from Jesus? How do we obtain that? Well, you know, there are four principle dogmas about Mary. We’ve been dealing with most of them. Dogma are doctrines that have been declared. They’re not based on the bible. When the Pope speaks in ex cathedra, cathedra means thrown, a cathedral is a place of the throne and when the Pope is speaking officially because he is the vicar of God on earth, his sayings, his encyclicals are considered above scripture. That’s their own teaching.

Over history, a bunch of extra biblical teachings have developed from the various popes regarding Mary that continued to exalt her gradually through history. One is that she is the Mother of God. And that came at the Council of Ephesus 431 years after Jesus. It wasn’t in the bible. Her perpetual virginity that she never did have normal relations and that is a dogma. The immaculate conception that she was sinless.

And then the final one we’re going to talk about briefly is the assumption of Mary, assumption we would think like the ascension of Jesus, but the assumption of Mary basically teaches that Jesus and the angels came down at the end of her life. Whether she died first or not is still debated in the Catholic church, but they brought her right up to heaven where she is by the throne of Jesus and she basically, it’s not just the Holy Trinity, it’s like a holy quartet up in heaven right now, that Mary holds this divine position with God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. And that in itself is a blasphemous teaching because it is so far out of the bible. You and I are sons and daughters of God. That means that we are adopted into the family of God. But you and I are not God. That’s a whole different thing and that’s considered blasphemy.

The last mention you have of Mary in the bible, Acts 1:14 - ‘As the Holy Spirit is poured out and God’s church is born,’ you find it’s the last mention of Mary. All these are counted with -- they were in one accord with prayer and supplication with the women and Mary, she’s simply listed among the other women who were there in the upper room, the Mother of Jesus and with his brethren.

I’m glad that Mary and even the brothers of Jesus became believers. At first they weren’t. Very supportive, did you know that? As a matter of fact, at one time, they said Jesus, you’ve gone too far, you’re not thinking clear. They sent messengers inside a crowd when Jesus was preaching and said, Jesus come out and talk to your family. We’ve got to reason with you. We’re doing an intervention here. You’re getting carried away. And Mary and the brothers and sisters of Jesus, they sent messengers into a crowd where Jesus was preaching to call him out and try and save him.

Matthew 12:46, if you have any doubt about the relationship, notice this. Matthew 12:46-50, ‘While he was talking with the multitude, beyond His mother and his brothers stood outside,’ meaning outside the crowd, ‘seeking to speak with him. Then one said to Him, look your mother and your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak with you.’ How did Jesus answer? I’ll be right there, because she’s after the mother of God, I’d better listen to her. But Jesus answered and said and told the one who had spoke to Him, ‘Who is my mother and who are my brothers? He stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said here are my mother and my brothers for whoever does the will of the Father in heaven, whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother.

Mary was given a job. Her job was to do her best to raise the human side of Jesus and prepare him for his life ministry. Once he entered into His life ministry, He said whoever does my will are my family. We are all brothers and sisters of Christ in that respect. And he did the very opposite of what’s being taught in the church that we’re supposed to exsolve (phonetic) Mary to the supermom, superhuman level.

He said that you can be his brother and his sister and his mother if you hear the word of God and you believe it and you do it in your life. That I think is very important. All these other teachings take away from the teaching of Jesus that it’s surrendering to his word, that’s how we become part of his family. It puts him out of reach in the other ways.

Now don’t misunderstand. Jesus loved Mary. He felt affection for Mary above probably a lot of other people. One of the last acts of Jesus when he’s hanging on the cross, in spite of his own suffering, he cares for his mother, he commits the care of his mother to John. He says, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ looking at John, he can’t point, his hands are nailed to the cross. He nods to John and says, ‘Son, behold your mother.’

And says, in case you don’t know what that means, it tells you in the next verse, John from that moment on took Mary into his household and he cared for her. You never hear what happened to Mary again. The idea of her being assumed to heaven is totally a fabrication. It’s not in the bible. Near as we can tell, Mary died, John was working in Antioch. She’s probably buried in one of the tombs around Antioch. There are several places in the world where people claim, ‘this is where Mary died and was buried.’ But they really don’t know. There’s no good evidence for that. Mary’s sleeping right now. This is the thing that shocks people. Should we pray to Mary? Is Mary alive? Is Mary in heaven?

You know, I see I’m out of time, but I’ve just got to cover this with you real quick, friends. Where is Mary now? Daniel 12:2 - ‘Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.’ She is sleeping waiting to awake. Some to shame and everlasting contempt and some to everlasting life.

Jobe 17:13 - ‘If I wait, the grave is my house. People wait in the grave for the coming of the Lord. When the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, the dead in Christ will rise. When? When Jesus comes.

1 Corinthians 15:22 - ‘For in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ Yes, Peter, James, John and Mary will be, future tense, made alive in Christ, but each one in his own order. What’s the order? Christ the first roots after were those who were Christ at his coming. Is Mary in heaven now or is she waiting, sleeping a dreamless peaceful sleep? She died 1,900 years ago, somewhere in Antioch. The bible doesn’t even record it. She is waiting for the resurrection like every other child of God, through Christ.

The idea of praying to Mary and Mary appearing everywhere around the world, these Marian apparitions that are happening, something might be appearing, but it’s not Mary.

Now a lot of sincere people are hearing this probably for the first time and they’re shaken to the core by this. They think I’ve been praying to Mary for years and you’re telling me, who have I been praying to? Well, God knows the sincerity of your heart and I’m sure a lot of prayers have been answers that have been prayed sincerely because God looks in the heart and man looks in the outward appearance. But technically, you didn’t need to go through Mary. She’s not hearing your prayers. She’s sleeping like everyone else who has died in Jesus waiting for the resurrection and the coming of the Lord. There’s not a shred of evidence even in the Catholic encyclopedia. They admit there is no biblical evidence for the assumption of Mary. It was something that was concocted by the church and their argument was, well, you know, but she was so good. And if God took Moses up to heaven to watch the children of Israel cross over, wouldn’t he want to take Mary up so she could see what’s going on? And that might sound logical, but you’re inventing something that’s not in the bible. Moses is in the bible.

So how do we get to heaven? If it’s not through the prayers of Mary, then what it is through? John 14, Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ Ephesians 2:18 - ‘Through Him we have access by one spirit to the Father.’ It is through Christ we have access, not through Mary. Matthew 12, I already read that one to you. Hebrew 7:25 - ‘Therefore, he, Jesus, is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him since he always lives to make intercession for them. It’s Jesus who is ever living to make intercession for us. He’s the one that we prayer to and pray through. It is through Christ’s name that we go the Father. He’s the one that paid for it all. Amen.

And that’s our closing hymn. Jesus Paid it All. All to him I owe. Sin is left a guilty stain, but he washed it white as snow. All of us have sinned, including Mary. All of us need a savior. All of us need help living spirit-filled lives, Just like Mary did. But if He could do it for her, He could do it for you. And so I just wanted to give you courage and remind you that Jesus is anxious. He’s not too busy. He wants to hear your prayers and He’s made it possible. Let’s stand together and we’ll sing, 184, Jesus Paid it All.

Before we sing the last verse in this beautiful hymn, I want to give you an opportunity. There may be some here that have never really surrendered their lives to Jesus. You never thought you’d be good enough or perfect enough. You thought that Christians are really superhuman. Some of you maybe have been thinking I’ll never be a supermom. A

nd you realize that, you know, if the Lord could commit his own life into the hands of a sinful mortal, if he could trust his divine son to someone like Mary who is normal, then is there hope for each one of use that He through the Holy Spirit can do great things through our lives. And if Jesus could be miraculously born and conceived through the Holy Spirit in a mortal life, can Jesus be born in us miraculously through the Holy Spirit? He can. It can happen to you right now. You just come as you are and say, ‘Lord, give me that new life within.’

As we sing the last verse, if you have some special need on your heart or maybe you just need that new life we’re talking about, come and we’ll sing verse four together, we’ll pray together.

Our Father, we are so thankful that Jesus is the ladder reaching from Heaven to Earth, that he came down and became a man that he might reconcile us with God and that we can go directly to and directly through Jesus, that we can pray in His name and have access to your throne. We’re also thankful for the example of Mary, that you would entrust your dear son into the life of a mortal, of someone who is very much human, as remarkable as she was, but she was guided by your spirit the same way we can be saved by your grace the same way we can be, illuminated and called as we can be.

Lord, I pray in a special way you’ll be with all of the mothers who are present to those watching and may they find courage that they may not be supermoms, but through your spirit, they can do what you called them to do. I pray your blessing on each person here, Lord, and those who may be watching, fill them with your spirit and whatever the needs are in our lives, help us to know Lord that it’s through Jesus we can find redemption, salvation that he ever lives to intercede for us and you’re ready to answer our prayers that are prayed in your name. Bless this church and every family represented. Pour out your spirit on us. We know you’re coming soon and we want to be ready for that day. We ask this now in the name of your son, Jesus. Amen.

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