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Saint Matthew's Lutheran church

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Who was Mary?

Mother of God?  Mother of Jesus? Bearer of God?  
These questions may seem strange to us today but to our ancestors in faith they were very important questions.  Questions that Christians today accept at face value.
Why were they important?  Because they dealt with the essential nature and character of Jesus. 
 The doctrines about Mary are really the teachings of the Church relating to Jesus. 
 Mary is all about Jesus.
The revelation of God to our first ancestors, Adam and Eve was direct.  The Bible shows us that God spoke to Adam and Eve face to face.
God was able to do this because unlike animals and other living creatures, the human person was created special.  The animals and other living creatures were created by command. 
Genesis relates that in creation God simply commanded things to be and they were.  This teaching of the Bible has a latin name, it is called creation Ex Nihilo, that is, creation out of nothing. 
The significance of creation out of nothing emphasizes that God is the supreme being and that as the supreme being God does not need pre existing material in order to create. 
However, in the creation of the human person God used the clay of his creation to form and shape the man exactly in God's own image, (that is why we often depict God as looking human). 
But the human was lifeless, so the Bible says that God stooped down over the man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of God and the man became a living being.
The importance of this special creation is shown in the Bible's statement that the human person is made in the image and likeness of God and personally possesses the Spirit, (the breath) of God. 
Humankind is different than all the rest of creation.  The human can speak varied languges, create music, develop writing, use personal skills to learn the principles of the universal order such as math, and then to apply this math to engineering and architecture. 
The human can appreciate beauty, creating "art" in imitation of the beauty experienced even the beauty of soul as expressed in human music, poetry, writing.  The human can investigate, gather facts, analize data and extrapolate theories, experiment and apply the results theoretically in order to discover the secrets hidden within creation.
The doctrines concerning Mary are related to the doctrines concerning the human person. 
The key element is whether Jesus was merely another human person or was Jesus different in some way? 
If Jesus was only a biological human and nothing else then the questions relating to Jesus' life and it's significance would be formulated within those parameters. 
 But if Jesus was divinely conceived and this divinely conceived person was both God according to the spirit and human according to the flesh, then the questions concerning his life and its significance would have much larger parameters. 
So, the question of Mary being simply the mother of Jesus, a biological human is expanded by the assertion that Jesus is also a divine person, namely, the Son of God. 
We will go further into this on another page, but for now let's pose the question,
 "If Jesus is the son of Mary according to the flesh and also the Son of God according to the Spirit, then when are the two joined?' 
The answer of the Christian Church from the earlest time was that Jesus is both divine and human from the moment of conception;
  (This is not the immaculate conception, that phrase belongs to the teachings concerning Mary) the virginal conception of Jesus focuses upon Him not her. 
Anyway, since Jesus is both God and Man at the same time and within one biological body, the Church decided that it was more accurate to say that Mary is the Mother of God by the intervention of the Holy Spirit and at the same time the mother of Jesus by the action of gestation and birth. 


Bible Study

Jesus-his mother and father.

The decisions of the Church regarding Mary as Mother of God relate directly to Jesus as Son of God.  Click on the above link for more

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