Mary and the Church
Mary and the Church is a sermon teaching us that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a faithful serving woman in the church at Jerusalem, an example for us to follow.
Some of the last words of Jesus on the cross were in regard to His mother. His mother, Mary, his mother’s sister, Mary, Mary Magdelene, and the disciple John attended His crucifixion. From the cross, Jesus instructed John to take care of His mother for her remaining days.
During Jesus’s life, He was not well-known until He started His ministry in the last few years of His life. He performed miracles in those years as well as after His resurrection. When Jesus returns for the Millennial Kingdom, He will reign in the place of David. His disciples asked if now is the time for His return. But, it will be on His timetable, not ours.
Between the time period of His resurrection and the Millennial Kingdom is the Church Age. The church is temporary with a beginning and ending. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and it was the start of the church. God commissioned His people to preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.
For many centuries, venerating Mary has been practiced in some churches, predominately the Roman Catholic Church. She is prayed to along with other saints to intercede for prayer as well as being reverenced for other things. But the Bible teaches we have direct access to pray to God. The veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom upon Jesus’s death, showing that all people could at that moment have direct access to God. We no longer need to go to a priest or high priest. We do not need to pray to Mary.
Mary stayed with John for the rest of her life. John died at age 90 and Mary had passed before John, perhaps at age 50-60. Mary is last mentioned in the Bible when she was in the upper room with the disciples, staying and praying with the brethren. She was a follower of the Lord Jesus helping to build the church.
Mary is seen as a woman of prayer and we follow her example. She is a faithful, serving member of the church at Jerusalem. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary never died and ascended into Heaven. We are not to worship Mary, she is a godly woman and mother, but she is not the center of the church, the Lord Jesus is the center of the church. To make anyone else the center of the church is idolatry. Jesus is the center of the church, our hearts, and our thinking.
Mary and the Church sermon starts with verses from John 19:25-30:
25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
and verses from Acts 1:6-14:
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
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