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Mary the Mother of Jesus

QUESTION: What was the role of Mary the mother of Jesus in His ministry?


The role of Mary, the mother of Jesus in His ministry was that she was part of those who Jesus came to "seek and to save" (Luke 19:10). Mary herself recognized her own need of a Savior. "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47).

Therefore, Mary was the bearer of the humanity of our LORD Jesus Christ, but she had no part in His ministry other than that of an observer and a follower.

There is an incident at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry that sheds light upon the role of Mary the mother of Jesus in His ministry. The only place we read about this incident is in the gospel of John. The context is at a marriage celebration in Cana. This marriage could have been of relatives or perhaps friends of the family:

"On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, 'They have no more wine.' 'Dear woman, why do you involve me?' Jesus replied. 'My time has not yet come.' His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you'" (John 2:1-5).

Notice in this passage of John that Jesus was not taking instructions or directions from His mother. In fact, Jesus is withdrawing Himself from her authority. Jesus knew what His mission was and whom it was that was leading and guiding Him. The miracle itself served to draw others to follow Jesus (John 2:11).

At a public gathering when Mary desires to speak to Jesus, He seems to refuse to admit any authority on the part of His mother or relatives or any privilege because of their physical relationship to Him. "While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.' He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother'" (Matthew 12:46-50).

This mention of Mary is only one of four following the beginning of Jesus' public ministry and none of them refer to Mary's involvement in the "work" that Jesus did.

All through His public ministry Jesus relied upon the Father for guidance and for strength and said, "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me" (John 5:30).

"So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me'" (John 8:28). Therefore, Jesus' ministry was totally in the Father's hand and will and no one, including Mary the mother of Jesus, had any role in His ministry other than one of His followers.

Learn More about the Passion of the Christ!

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We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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