Ever wonder where we got the idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus, got an extra dose of Holy? As it turns out, Roman Catholicism is not where that originated: designating special honor to people who fulfill unique roles in history has always been around. This tendency in the human heart speaks to more than just idolatry though. As evangelicals, we to do this with many individuals from the Bible. We hold them up as super-saints and separate ourselves from being able to do what they did, because we are not special like they were.

In our reading for today we find a brief snippet that could easily be passed over as random, but that I believe is intentionally included to deal with this error. In Luke 11:27-28, a woman cries out to Jesus “blessed is the woman that bore you and the one who nursed you.” Obviously, this is about Mary, and has a connotation of unique holiness. I can relate to this shouting woman. I read about the Acts of the apostles, the life of Paul, the faithfulness of Stephen, the faith of Esther, etc. and I can so easily assume that because they did great things and made it into the Bible, they were extra blessed, and I cannot be like them. Without using the words, I can attribute special sainthood in a very Roman Catholic way.

Jesus addressed this head on, so that it cannot be misunderstood. He stated “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” In other words, what made Mary special, or anyone else for that matter, is that they were obedient. We are all called to unique purposes. We all have the opportunity to be involved in the history that God is writing. And all who live obedient lives in the service of the Father will be called blessed when we are received by our Lord and join the millions of Saints who have served faithfully in the Kingdom before us. The invitation is right in front of you. Will you live obedient to the word of God? Will you enjoy the blessing of getting to be part of what God is doing? The choice is yours.

by Ben Urban, Pastor of Student Ministries

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