Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20090826.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Par XLII: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By Exalting Scripture Obedience Above God's Blessing Of Mary
Lesson: Jesus taught that those who hear and obey God's Word are more blessed of God than was His own earthly Mother in being selected by God to bear Him as the Messiah and Son of God!
- If Christ is truly the TRUE and RIGHTEOUS God's worldwide Savior, His commitment to hearing and obeying God's Word should have taken precedence over all other good things God wants for His people.
- In view of the history of Christendom, this priority was strikingly stated by Christ in Luke 11:27-28:
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior By Exalting Scripture Obedience Above God's Blessing Of Mary.
- Christ's statement about hearing and obeying God's Word in Luke 11:28 was made in the extended context of His reacting to the charge that He had exorcised a demon by Satan's power, Luke 11:27, 14-17.
- Jesus was opposed to the charge, and, as we learned before, He extensively countered it in Luke 11:17-26.
- In this context, a woman in the crowd suddenly spoke up, announcing how blessed was the woman who had given Jesus birth and nursed Him as an infant, Luke 11:27.
- Though Mary was blessed of God for bearing the Messiah, some have added extrabiblical claims to it:
- Mary, the Mother of Jesus, claimed in her Magnificat that since she was chosen of God to give birth to the Messiah, "from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed," Luke 1:48 KJV.
- However, some in Christendom have added many astounding extrabiblical claims about this her blessing from God, and we cite just a few of them here (as follows):
- Bishop Alphonse de Liguori, a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church, wrote The Glories of Mary (1931, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn) where he stated of Mary: " . . . she is truly a mediatress of peace between sinners and God. Sinners receive pardon by . . . Mary alone", p. 82, 83 (cited in Loraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism, 1978, p. 138),
- He added: "The Way of Salvation is open to none otherwise than through MARY," and since "Our salvation is in the hands of Mary . . . He who is protected by MARY will be saved, he who is not will be lost" (Ibid., Ligu ori, p. 169, 170 as cited in Boettner, Loc. cit., p. 139).
- However, Jesus replied to the woman's claim about the blessed state of His earthly mother, announcing a greater blessing on other believers than what even His Mother Mary had for being His mother, Lk . 11:28:
- The KJV expression "Yea rather" ["rather" in the NIV and ESV; "On the contrary" in the NASB] comes from the Greek term, menoun, a contraction of the particles men and oun, and it idiomatically signals "a new statement correcting or modifying a foregoing statement," C. F. D. Moule, An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek (Cambridge University Press, 2nd. ed., 1975), p. 162-163.
- Thus, Jesus responded to the woman's statement by qualifying it to say that though His earthly Mother, Mary was blessed of God for being His earthly Mother, those who hear the Word of God and observe it are more GREATLY blessed ("rather; on the contrary") than was Mary for being His earthly Mother!
- This qualification by Jesus has profound implications on God's blessings to Mary and to other believers:
- Scripture claims that Jesus is the sole Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), not Jesus and Mary, and that salvation is by Christ alone (Acts 4:12), not by Mary, so according to Jesus at Luke 11:28, those who hold to these Scriputre truths versus the opposing error taught by Roman Catholicism are more blessed of God than was Mary for being Jesus' earthly Mother!
- In the context of Luke 11:14-15, heeding God's Word that the Messiah would heal the blind, the lame, the lepers and the deaf, that He would raise the dead and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the poor (Luke 7:22 with Isaiah 35:4-6; 61:1-2a) so that Jesus Who did these miracles was of God and not of Satan as some charged, made one more blessed than was Mary in being Christ's earthly Mother!
Application: (1) May we hear and obey God's Word to be very highly blessed of God. (2) May we view the blessing of Mary, Jesus' Mother, in light of Scripture revelation, being careful to reject all that is false and to accept only what is true to be MORE BLESSED than was Mary in being Jesus' Mother!