Five reasons the mother of Jesus is a bigger deal than protestants like me typically acknowledge
I am not alone amongst protestants in finding the Catholic veneration of Mary occasionally over the top and sometimes rather odd. However, they are right to highlight her as a pivotal figure.
There are a dozen reference to her in the Gospel of Luke alone. She also appears in all the other Gospels, Acts, Paul’s letters and perhaps even Revelation.
2. She is probably the source for chunks of the gospel
The Nativity story is a pretty central part of the festive season. But have you ever wondered where it comes from?
The obvious answer is the Bible or to be more exact the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. But how did it get in there? The authors (or purported authors) could not have witnessed any of it because the Disciples do not enter the picture until decades after Jesus’ birth. Nor obviously could Jesus himself having been a baby at the time be the ultimate source. And Joseph’s final appearance in the Bible is finding a six-year old messiah in the temple from – his later absence suggests that he had died by the time of Jesus’ ministry. That makes the most likely source Mary. Indeed, it is a given that some parts of the nativity must have been reported by Mary: there was no other person to recount her ante-natal visit from Gabriel!
3. she’s the only person to have witnessed the full span of Jesus’ life
She gave birth to him, she wept at his crucifixion and prayed with the disciples after his accession.
4. She is part of a tradition of significant Christian women
Now, it is not uncommon to hear the exclusion of women from positions of authority within the church justified by pointing out that the apostles were all men. What this ignores is that the Bible provides examples of women leading and preaching. In this context it is significant that Mary should have been not only the mother of Jesus but probably also the originator of some of the most evocative sections of the Bible.
5. She’s the only women mentioned by name in the Qur’an
She’s revered by Muslims as well as Christians and is actually mentioned in the Qur’an more than the Bible. The 19th chapter of the Qur’an is named after her.