Sunday, April 14, 2013

M is for Mary: (Honor or Worship)

Mary
Honor or Worship

Pic. Credit: Confident Living Magazine
The Bible doesn't tell us much about Mary.  She was a young virgin of the tribe of Judah and in the line of David. She was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph.  Life was hard but quite normal.  Then everything changed.

Name: “Sea of Bitterness”
Date: 1st Century AD
Identification: Virgin girl of Nazareth; wife of Joseph, mother of Jesus
Story Line: Mary was honored by God to bear the long-awaited Messiah
Read it in the Bible: Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel came to Mary and informed her that she would bear a child, but not by Joseph. This child would be the Son of the Highest, the Messiah of Israel, and the Savior of all mankind.  Gabriel said to Mary, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28)

It is obvious that Mary was virtuous.  But the favor that God brought to her—to bear the Christ child—was a gift of God’s grace, not a reward for her virtue.  The expression “highly favored” in the Greek language is the perfect passive participle.  It means that Mary was made agreeable to God to bear the baby Jesus.  It’s the same expression used in Ephesians 1:6 describing believers as being made “accepted” in the Beloved.  It is all of God’s grace, not our goodness.

Was Mary a special young lady?  She certainly was.  Was she sinless like the Savior?  She certainly wasn't.  But God honored her to be the mother of the One who would take away the sins of the world, and for that reason we honor her as well.  But honor and worship are different.  We honor Mary; we worship Jesus.  Honor belongs to those God chooses to use; worship belongs only to God.  Make sure your worship is directed toward God today.  That’s where Mary’s worship is targeted. 

                                                    by Dr. Woodrow Kroll