How can Mary be “The Mother of God”?
Mary, the mother of God. Apostolic Insiders, I have to tell you when I was Protestant, I know some of you maybe converts as well, of the probably four or five most, I would have called them ridiculous Catholic doctrines, right? Or the most blasphemous of all the Catholic doctrines, I would probably have put the Eucharist number one. The idea that you can eat God to me was absolutely insane.
But certainly the next three, if not four, were Marian doctrines. I mean the immaculate conception, are you kidding me? Perpetual virginity, the assumption, the we’re insane. But also the mother of God.
So again, probably four out of the top five of what I would have thought to be absolutely insane that Catholics believe would have been Marian.
But let’s focus here for a minute on the mother of God because this was a big one for me. And I would say, look, if you’re going to say Mary is the mother of God, that is absolutely blasphemous because you’re basically making Mary God.
And this was my reasoning, follow me on this. One of the ways we know Jesus is God is He’s revealed in sacred scripture to be the only Son of God, right? John 1:18, John 3:16. He is the Monogenes, the only begotten Son. He reveals His divinity, why? Because cat has cat, dog has dog, human has human, God has God. When He reveals Himself to be the only begotten Son, well then, He is necessarily God.
Well, in my mind I would say this, well if Mary is the mother of God, right? God has God, dog has dog, cat has cat, bird has bird, human has human. God has God. She would have to be God in order to give birth to God. That is absolutely blasphemy, folks.
How do we respond as Catholics? Well, first of all my friends, we do not say that Mary is the source of Jesus’ divine nature. Yes, as the only begotten Son of the Father that reveals Jesus’ divinity. Yes. Why? Because we’re talking about the eternal processions within the inner life of God. He is God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made consubstantial with the Father. Right?
But when we’re talking about Mary being the mother of God, we’re not talking about the eternal processions of the persons of the blessed Trinity from all eternity. We’re talking about the incarnation, my friends. This is a unique event in all of salvation history where one of the three persons in the blessed Trinity for our salvation daned to become incarnate. He entered into time with the acquisition of a human nature and God chose this holy vessel, Mary, to give birth to Him.
So, she, listen, she was not the source of His divine nature, absolutely not. Here I find to be the way you can help folks to understand. Think about this, when my wife gave birth to our first child, Timmy, did Val and I give Timmy his immortal soul? Think about it. The answer is no. We did not give him his immortal soul. In fact, the Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 12:7, “When we die our bodies go to the dust, our spirit returns to God who gave it.” God directly creates the soul of each and every human person.
Now, we know that Biblically but we also it philosophically. It would be impossible for Val and I to create a soul. Why? You can’t get part of a soul from Val and part of a soul from me because a soul is pure spirit, there are no parts. It has to, in that sense, be directly created by God.
But here’s the bottom line, because my wife did not give Timmy his soul and I did not give Timmy his soul, does that mean for the rest of Timmy’s life he should be referring to his as, “Hello, mother of my body.” Right? Well, of course not. Why? Because his mother didn’t give birth to a body. Didn’t give birth to a soul. Gave birth to a person, one person. So, Timmy doesn’t have to call me, “Father of his body,” either. Why? Because I’m the father of his person.
In the same way, even though Mary, in fact, Mary didn’t even given Jesus His human soul, much less His divine nature. She’s not the source of either. But that doesn’t mean she’s just the mother of his body. Because just as my wife gave birth to a person, so did Mary. Mary gave birth to one person, not two, not three, not eight. One person and that person is God, Jesus Christ.
Now, if you are going to deny, knowing this, that Mary is the mother of God, even though we say, “Look, Mary’s not the source of His divine nature, she’s the source of even His human soul,” she simply gave birth to the one person who is the God-man, Jesus Christ. Now, if you’re going to continue to deny that, you’ve got to answer a very serious question. In other words, if you’re going to deny Mary’s the mother of God you have to answer the question, “Well, then who did she give birth to?” Right? Because if she only gave birth to the man Jesus Christ, as men like Dr. Walter Martin, Jimmy Swaggart have taught, that Jesus, you know when He was born, when Mary gave birth, she didn’t give birth to God, so she’s not the mother of God. She gave birth to the man, Jesus Christ. Well, guess what? You’ve just created either a purely human Jesus and you’re in the same league with Jehovah’s Witnesses or you’ve become a Nestorian and you’ve created two persons. Well, she gave birth to the human person but then you also have this divine person.
But the bottom line is, my friend, there’s not two persons revealed in scripture. There is one. And He is the God-man, Jesus Christ. And this is why Elizabeth would say in Luke 1:43, when she encounters her cousin or relative, Mary, shortly after she had conceived Jesus. Remember what Elizabeth said? “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?” And by the way, that’s not mother of some human being, that’s mother of the Lord. She’s actually quoting almost verbatim 2 Samuel 6:9, which refers to the Ark of the Covenant when King David encountered this powerful manifestation of the Ark of the Covenant, he said, “Who am I that the Ark of my Lord, or Ark of the Lord should come unto me.” Is he talking about the Ark of a human? No, Ark of Almighty God.
Is Elizabeth is talking about the Ark of some human? No. She’s talking about the fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant, the fulfillment of the Ark of the Lord, the Ark of Almighty God. But I want you to notice she says, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord,” referring to Mary as the New Covenant Ark of the Covenant who gives birth to Almighty God.
My friends, if you’re going to deny Mary is the mother of God, you’ve got all kinds of problems. Not the least of which is you’re disagreeing with Luke 1:43 that tells us Mary is in fact the mother of the Lord God.
God bless you.