John 2:5 (One Command)

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But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 16:1 – 19:25

Relate: If I were to ask, how would you define the word “idol”? One of the most common definitions I hear is something along the lines of “anything that a person makes of greater importance than God”  Often the given definition will reference one’s heart, time, or treasure. So by this definition, if paying my internet bill is of greater importance than paying my tithe, the internet is an idol. If having time to watch my favorite show is of greater importance than having time for my devotions then TV is an idol. This said, there is a fine line between holding Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the very high regard she deserves and in her becoming an idol. If we hold her in higher regard in our heart than we do Jesus than she is an idol.

Unfortunately, a series of false doctrines have sprung up over the years that make it easier to cross that line. One is a claim to her perpetual virginity. Jesus had siblings. Mary had other children, we meet them multiple times in the Bible and all of them would have been conceived quite naturally. Jesus birth was the only virgin birth. A second false doctrine is the immaculate conception. It wasn’t until the 1850’s when this heresy was made official. By the way, it was the same pope who later made official the false doctrine of papal infallibility. Even more recently, in the 1950’s the doctrine of the assumption of Mary was declared. So now Mary supposedly was born without sinful nature, lived a completely virginal life (how typical of some men to think this might make some poor woman more holy), and ascended up to heaven just like Jesus did.

React: Interestingly enough, in all of scripture, Mary only once gives a command. That command is, “Whatever he [Jesus] says, do it.” So if we want to honor Mary, we would recognize that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that there is no other way to approach God except through Him. If we want to obey Mary then we would pray only to Jesus (John 14:14) or the Father (Matthew 6:9). If we want to respect Mary, then we would seek to hear and obey everything Jesus commanded us. That was, after all, her one command.

Respond: 

God, I am so grateful that You sent Your Son to live among us. I am grateful that You were willing to come. That You lived and died among us. For this sacred task You chose Mary, among all women, to carry and raise Your child. Help me to respect and honor that unique, sacred trust You have placed in her without falling into idolatry. You alone are God and I pray that You alone would hold primary place in our hearts.

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14 thoughts on “John 2:5 (One Command)

  1. That’s right on! I’ve had people I know actually pray “to” Mary, which made me very uncomfortable. But rather than stumble them in their faith, I said nothing. The bible is clear about who we are to hold in high esteem, the rest are just faithful players in the story of life.

  2. Love it! Because I have limited knowledge of the ins and outs of Catholic dogma, I wasn’t aware, until reading your post and researching the term, that “immaculate conception” refers to her mother’s conception of Mary and not to Mary’s conception of Jesus. Interesting. I wonder how many other protestants, etc. don’t know the distinction.

    • All four Marian dogmas (mother of God, immaculate conception, assumption, and perpetual virginity) are really an attempt to put her on a par, or even above God. It is sad because I know many Catholics (or Orthodox, or mainline protestants) who do rightly hold Mary in high regard even as the RCC from above moves deeper into bad doctrine. When it boils down to it, good people should be respected but only God glorified.

    • I grew up in the church but not in the Catholic church so I too was under a misconception about the term “immaculate conception”; I was actually a bit taken aback by BJ’s assertion that the immaculate conception is a false doctrine because I had always assumed that it was referring to the conception of Jesus. Then, I had the very brilliant idea of scrolling down to the comments to see if anyone else had needed clarification on that and lo and behold, you cleared it up for me! Thank you! 🙂

  3. Thank you for pointing out that command of Mary. It is all about Jesus and it reminds me that when I do great things for God it is Him in me that makes people rise up and notice. In turn I need to be humble and point to Jesus and in private thank Him for using me. Continually seeking Him, Sharon

  4. Hey, I’m Catholic and completely agree. There are an awful lot of Catholics (for example) who don’t pray to Mary, as the general teaching is that she is definitely not equal to God, but the official doctrines you mention above make it very confusing for most laymen and leave a lot of people misled. Mary always points the way to Jesus, and yes should be honoured for her tremendous and unique calling and for being such an incredible example of surrender, but no more than that. I think you struck a loving and non-judgemental tone, whilst still being corrective. Well done.

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