Showing posts with label Mary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary. Show all posts

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Mary - 09/12/2021

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 09/12/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Mary Bible Study Podcast

Mary the Theotokos


Theotokos is a term not often heard in evangelical circles...but we’ll get back to that.

“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”     Lk. 1:38

If only that should be our life verse and daily testimony!!!

Mary is mentioned in all four gospels, and in one verse Acts 1:14.

She is, without debate, the earthly mother of Jesus.

         Some sources claim she was born in Jerusalem, while others                say she was born in Galilee.

         We gather from Luke and Matthew’s accounts that she was betrothed to a carpenter named Joseph, in the region of Galilee, perhaps at the young age of fourteen. This was not an unusual arrangement. In the  Jewish tradition, betrothal was legally equivalent to marriage, without the ceremony and consummation. That could happen as much as a year later. It is universally believed that Joseph was much older than Mary, which also would not have been unusual.

         Somewhere in the betrothal period Mary comes to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Read portions of Deut. 22:13-30


“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly” Matt. 1:19


Virgin birth narratives are not uncommon in ancient folklore.


Mary is a Biblical character shroud in great mystery!!


Let’s try to unpack some of it.

The Protoevangelium gospel of James (second cen.) gives a supposed birth narrative of Mary claiming that she was born to a pious couple named Joachim and Anne. The account is similar to the birth of Samuel in I Sam. ch. 1. At six months, Mary is brought and dedicated at the temple, and remained there.

Evangelical commentators claim that Luke’s genealogy traces Jesus line through Mary, thus giving Him an actual blood line to David. This argues that Joseph and Mary were cousins, and shared a maternal ancestor. Lk. 3:23.

This interpretation accounts for the problem in Jer. 36:30, who prophesied that not descendant of Jehoiakim or hes son Jechoniah (Jer. 22:24-30) would sit on the throne of David.


Mary is declared a “perpetual virgin” by Roman Catholic doctrine as well as Orthodox. They answer the problem of Mat. 13:55 and Mk. 3:31 by claiming that in Hebrew the word for brothers could be translated cousin and is sometimes translated “brethren.”

Someone pointed out that during birth, the baby Jesus would have broken Mary’s hymen, making her no longer a virgin. Catholic response to that is that Jesus exited her body in a miraculous fashion.

At the council of Ephesus (431 AD) Mary is declared the Theotokos, “God-bearer”. The argument in Catholic theology is that God could not dwell in an unclean vessel, therefore Mary gets tracked onto this pre-passion, status of Holiness.

Another Catholic argument that Mary had no other children is the reason why Jesus asks John to care for her, from the cross. (Jn. 19:27)


The true beauty of Mary


A woman, in Scripture, is often a type of the church.

Is the church not the God-bearer in the post-ascension dispensation, sometimes called, “the church age”.

Does not Christ dwell in us? Col. 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

And Rom. 8:9-11.

Do we not see how Joseph loved Mary and had compassion on her in Mat. 1:19, “minded to put her away secretly” not defecting to the law of Deut. 22.

Eph. 5:25, “Christ also loved he church and gave Himself for her.”

This is a much more powerful narrative than the perpetual virginity of Mary.

Mary’s assumption into heaven, or Dormition (falling asleep) is believed, by church  tradition, to have occurred between 50 and 63 AD, in Jerusalem.



I swear I didn't read the above study before our Podcast discussion, but considering the subject: I have done two previous blog posts that regard Mary in some respect and thought I would share the link to them: 

Mary on

As a reminder, I have attempted to label the posts on the blog by subject matter, to locate topics of interest.  

We appreciate your search for encouragement and truth on the path of Christian Discipleship and thank you for your interest in our blog and podcast! 

M.T. Clark 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mary: Always do what mother says...


                         Mary: Always do what mother says…

 I would like to thank all the mothers out there for the choice they made to be mothers and for all that they have done and will continue to do to love and serve their families.  

In honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share some of what the Bible says about the mother of Jesus Christ and to glean some wisdom from what Mary had to say in the pages of scripture.  

Luke 1:26-28 (NKJV)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 

Any Christian who has been to church in the month of December may recall the introduction of Mary and the Catholics will rejoice over the scriptural basis of a portion of the Hail Mary Prayer that comes from Luke 1:28.  

The Hail Mary Prayer starts:  

Hail Mary,

Full of Grace,

The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit

of thy womb, Jesus.

The angel Gabriel testifies that the Lord is with Her and she is blessed among women! And I think we can all agree with the angel in His assessment Jesus as “blessed” and the prophecy that followed:

Luke 1:30-33 (NKJV)
30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

That sounds great but Mary was no fool and had to ask how this would be possible since she was a virgin:

Luke 1:35-37 (NKJV)
35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible."

Mary, showing what a shrewd mother she would be, “tested the spirit” but discerned that this was from God and by faith accepted His will for her life:

Luke 1:38 (NKJV)
38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Mary took what the angel Gabriele told here by faith and so visited Elizabeth who confirmed what the angel said and praised Mary for her faithfulness:

Luke 1:45 (NKJV)
45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."

To which, Mary’s response models that of a faithful mother who praises the Lord, rejoices in her faith, proclaims the truth of who God is, and gives thanks to God: 

Luke 1:46-55 (NKJV)
46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."

We next pick up Mary’s story in:

Luke 2:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

These verses tell us that Mary was a righteous and obedient wife, as she travelled with Joseph to Bethlehem to obey the law of the land, a decree of Caesar Augustus, to be registered.  Joseph and Mary obeyed the laws of the state even though they may have had doubts or questions of their government’s legitimacy as they were living in faith to bring into the world a newborn king!  Mothers tell their children to obey the law no matter what they may think of the politicians in charge.

These verses also show Mary’s resiliency of a mother as she made the best of their meager circumstances and cared for her child the best she could.   

Angels proclaimed the coming of the Messiahs to shepherds who hurriedly proclaimed what the angels said to Joseph and Mary and to others.  But Mary as a mother showed her patience and control over her emotions at this exciting news by quietly accepting their truth and waiting for their fulfillment:

Luke 2:19 (NKJV)
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  

 Mary’s patience and heart as a mother would be tested as on the heels of a great prophecy spoken over Jesus, Simeon proclaimed to her:

Luke 2:34-35 (NKJV)
34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

There isn’t much detail of Mary’s life with Christ but with such prophecies spoken over Him, Mary like all mothers had her soul invested in his care and was concerned for her child’s future.

And just like all mothers, Mary had to deal with the ups and downs of raising a child as 12-year-old Jesus went missing for three days while on a trip to Jerusalem at Passover, only to find him in the safety of the temple, discussing scripture with the teachers.   

Luke 2:47-51 (NKJV)
47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously."
49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. 51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.

Apparently even sinless kids can drive you crazy, but even though this episode must have shocked and confused her, Mary knew her Son and grew calm when He was safely returned to her for she trusted that He was meant for great things.

She knew Jesus’ time would come and approximately 20 years later it did.  Jesus’ earthly ministry began with a mother’s words of wisdom that we should all take to heart:

John 2:5 (NKJV)
5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

These words lead to the fulfillment of Christ’s first miracle and the rest is history.

John 2:11-12 (NKJV)
11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

Through the years of Christ’s teaching and miracles, and even at the hour of his death, Jesus never forgot the love for His mother and even made provision for her care. 

John 19:25-27 (NKJV)
25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Christ’s example to us for today, regarding our mothers is to love and care for them as they loved and cared for us right up until the moment we are separated from each other’s lives.  

The word of God also tells us to honor mothers:

Exodus 20:12 (NKJV)
12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

So today honor your mother by sharing the love they gave to you.  Show them that their love for you wasn’t wasted and that it will live on in your life and the life of others.  

And if we feel like we want to honor the virgin Mary, I think the best thing we can do is to follow her example by being faithful, resilient, patient, self-controlled, loving, and to tell others to follow Jesus.  The wisest thing Mary ever said to us from scripture about her Son was: "Whatever He says to you, do it."  



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hail Mary? Not quite. Jesus corrects a Roman Catholic.

Every morning I read the Bible and am enriched by the Word of God.  Sometimes I am convicted. Sometimes I am in awe. And sometimes I laugh out loud.  

This morning I was in Luke 11 and among the many rich teachings in that chapter I was able to find some humor.  Jesus is midst of teaching when....

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" 

28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" 

It is a short and simple instruction: blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.  It's a good lesson that is calling us to read the word of God and to do what it says! 

But was funny to me is what Jesus is responding to.   All I could think of was there was a groupie in the crowd.  I mean, think about it.  " Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that nursed You! "  Now imagine it said suggestively.  Jesus definitely had a fan in the crowd.  Talk about an awkward moment.  

Okay I know that's silly. There's no funny business going on in the Bible! 

So I'm crazy.  The woman was pure as the driven snow and was merely paying homage to Jesus' mother Mary.  

If that's the case, why?  As far as I can tell. Mary's not there.  Jesus is doing all the talking.  Perhaps this was a customary form of compliment back in the day or maybe she was trying to gain favor in the eyes of Jesus? or the crowd? Was this a female Pharisee trying to look good in public? 

Perhaps like people in my former tradition, Roman Catholicism, she had a deep genuine reverence for the Jesus' mother.  I recently attended the first communion of my niece and I vividly recall the statue of the Virgin Mary adorned with a fresh crown of flowers.   I recently ran a 5k hosted by a Catholic school and before the race was run the "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" was said.  The Funny thing  is that I loved that these prayers were said in public and I felt that old power of group recitation.  It didn't help with my performance in the race although I did thank God it was over at the end.  Maybe the woman was just showing respect.  

Regardless of the intentions of the woman, Jesus, the perfect teacher,  teaches the perfect lesson. 

Regardless if the woman's words were said out of lust, out of an attempt to gain favor, or out of the most holy reverence for Mary: Jesus says to Read the Word of God and do what it says.  

He's not saying that Mary isn't important or isn't to be respected as an example of faith. However, Jesus says "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" 

So say the Hail Mary before the race, but don't forget to read your Bible and try to do what it says afterward. 

In Luke, before  this woman spoke up, Jesus said:

9  "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 
10  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 

I don't care what denomination you belong to, we are to continually seek God and to deepen our relationship with Christ.