At ninety years old, Sarah, became a mother (Genesis 18:1,10-15). Everyone was surprised! God had been merciful to the barren woman. For years she suffered shame and ridicule. Now by the power of the Holy Spirit she had conceived (Genesis 21:1-7).
God had waited until it was impossible for her to bear a child before He fulfilled the first part of his promise to Abraham (Genesis 17:17). Now Sarah would be considered blessed of God by everyone; for her sorrow God had given her laughter.
Yahweh had also begun the work of making her a mother of nations (Genesis 17:15-16). The first stage of the promise would be to make her a mother of His chosen people Israel.
Out of the old came forth a new thing. It was to become a testimony about her that would be talked about for generations. She would now be acknowledged in the annals of history as the mother of the children of Abraham.
God had also covenanted to make Abraham a father of nations. The covenant would start in the natural with the nation of Israel. However, the fulfillment would be in the spiritual through the seed: Christ Jesus.
Many millennia after Isaac’s miraculous birth another miraculous birth occurred. This time God chose a young and pure vessel to bear His son. That person was Mary. This young fertile woman gave birth to Sarah’s legacy and become the mother of the spiritual children of Abraham. Through her God’s plan for heaven and earth meeting together to release the fullness of His covenant to Abraham and Sarah would be fulfilled. God’s promised seed would make her mother of nations.
Sarah’s physical children became children of God by the Laws of Moses. It was the seal of the Covenant between God and his chosen people. Through Mary many become children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. The promise was now to the children of Israel and the other nations. To seal the covenant God freely have the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ. The new man in Christ became her spiritual child because of her role in birthing and nurturing the son of God. In the same way a spiritual leader becomes a spiritual parent to God’s children.
Does Mary receiving the spiritual promise make her greater than her progenitor? Is this a reason for us to worship or pray to her?
While Jesus hung on the cross he remembered, that as the firstborn, he had a duty of care for his mother. So he told the disciple John to take care of her (John 19:26-27). By this act he fulfilled his obligation to her as first son. He was also teaching us a lesson. Mary’s obedience, to God, would grant her the privilege of being acknowledged as mother to his children but not worship. John responded as how we should, He showed her respect and honour but not worship.
In Luke 11:27 a woman among the people said, “Blessed are the breasts that nurse you”. This implied that it was the nurturing of the mother that allowed him to operate in His capacity as prophet, teacher, healer and Saviour. Yes, Mary did play her part. Her nurturing and spiritual guidance sustained him until he was ready for ministry. In John 2:1-5 she is instrumental in paving the way for him to perform his first miracle in Cana of Galilee. This points to her knowledge and support of his spiritual growth.
The support and nurturing came from her but it was the Holy Spirit that taught him (Luke 2:52; Isaiah 11:2-5). It was evident by the wisdom He displayed from a very young age. At 12 years old He went into the synagogue and reasoned with the teachers and lawyers. All were amazed at his wisdom (Luke 2:42,46-51).
Now back to my point. Jesus in his response, to the woman, He told the people that their focus was misplaced. It is more important to focus on his Word and follow it. “Blessed are they that hear the Word and keep it” (Luke 11:28). If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).
In greeting her, the angel Gabriel said, “blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:28b). Blessed means you are favoured by God. Favor from God can result in honor from men but it does not grant you worship. It does not confer on the addressee the promise of being revered by men. Worship belongs only to God. Only He is worthy of praise and worship.
It is enough for a servant to be used by the master for His purpose. Both women fulfilled their duty. Just as the numerous prophets, judges, kings, Esther and others did in the Bible and are deserving of honorary mention but not worship. Once we have completed our duties we do as Jesus commanded in Luke 17:10 “when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’”.
Jesus alone deserves our worship and adoration. Jesus came and fulfilled the law so that we have a very simple and narrow way to Him. He has set a simple path for us to follow. Let us keep our focus on the Saviour of our soul. Salvation and access to ALL the promises of God are only through Him. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6, NKJV).
Those that have died cannot intercede for us. They do not stand in the position of priest at or after their death. They have no remembrance of of the physical world. Only the living priest can make make sacrifices and intercessions for us. Before Jesus came, the priest made sacrifices daily and interceded for the people but this was not enough to cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Each year the process had to be repeated. It proved that man could offer no redemption for our sins. God had to perform this act.
Jesus offered one sacrifice that established Him as the ultimate mediator (intercessor) between God and man. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Through obedience to the commandments of Jesus and praying, the will of God, in the name of Jesus, we have access to God’s promises. Therefore, let us keep our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV)
Ruth, V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers (http://www.visualbiblealive.com)