During this Christmas season, the biblical account of Jesus’ birth and the events leading up to it will be presented around the world. These events have a common person in them: the virgin Mary, who is also referred to as the Mother of God.
Despite this title, God does not have a physical mother, but Mary is the Son of God’s mom according to the flesh, i.e. Jesus’ physical body (Pinedo). God does not have a beginning or an end and time does not apply to him because he created it, meaning that God cannot have a physical mother. It is also important to keep in mind that when speaking of God not having a beginning or an end, that applies to the Trinity who are all equally God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do not have beginnings or ends, thus Jesus was not “created” in Mary’s womb. Rather, he took on flesh as someone who always has been and will be. He was and is fully man and God. This is unlike Mary, who was fully human and created by God. Mary’s virginity also provides a clear reason for her not to be the Son of God’s mother.
Interestingly enough, Mary being referred to as the “Mother of God” does not appear in the Bible. When the Scripture speaks of her, she is called the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is referred to as her son. In John 19:26-27 it states, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciples, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (ESV). In Acts 1:14, Luke writes, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers,” and Matthew 2:11 says, “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him…” (ESV). In each of these verses, Mary is Jesus’ earthly mother but is not the Mother of God in the sense of her creating God.
The divinity of Mary will also appear among various Christian traditions; however, the Bible never commands or insinuates that Christians should worship her. In biblical accounts of her, there is never a mention of worshipping her. The Bible does not tell us that God’s angel, who appeared to Mary, the shepherds, the wise men, or the disciples, fell down to worship Mary. Instead, in a lot of the stories they give praise to God who is worthy of all the honor and glory. Also, “Simeon and Anna, who had waited their entire lives for the Messiah, recognized Jesus as the One sent by God. They did not offer any special acknowledgement or praise to Mary (Luke 2:21-38)” (Pinedo). Worshipping Mary can lead to a slippery slope of theology because Jesus not once implied that she was to be worshipped. He of course respected and obeyed his mother as the commandments told Him to, but she herself was not divine and worthy of worship.
In the end, despite many theological debates, Mary was just a girl. She was human and sinful, yet God used her to do great things, just like he used other significant people in the Bible. God used people in the Bible to accomplish great things for his purposes and glory, and he did not wait to use them until they became a certain age—he called on them in his perfect timing. The stories and hardships in the lives of people like Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham, Jonah, and so many more point to a God who uses his people in spite of their weaknesses. Despite the challenges they faced, God used their points of weakness to bring about his great plan, like he did with Mary.
Through the Holy Spirit, she was able to give birth to the Savior of the world, and she showed admirable qualities like bravery and honesty throughout her pregnancy journey. During her life she helped others, glorified God, and persevered through tough situations. Even after a long journey to Bethlehem and giving birth in a dirty stable among animals, she still persisted and never gave up. God worked in her heart and helped her to become the strong follower of God she was. Mary certainly was not perfect, but neither was Paul, Esther, Peter, or other biblical heroes. They each came with sin and their own flaws, but God did amazing things in and through them. He used and continues to use insignificant sinners to accomplish significant works.
Perhaps this holiday season, we all need to take a step back and allow God to work in us and help our character to grow. By committing our hearts and lives to him, we become vessels that he uses to bring his wonderful plan together. So, as you celebrate Christmas, remember to take a step back and look at the intricate details of Jesus’ birth, keeping in mind that God can use anyone, even a young girl living in Nazareth.
Sources: https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=2670 and https://www.freechristmaswallpapers.net/wallpaper/Jesus-Christ-Jerusalem/