Mark 3... Did Mary doubt Jesus?

I think this is a 2 part question…

In Mark 3 we see that the family (or relatives) of Jesus think He’s crazy and want to grab Him and “deprogram” (sorry, only word I can think of for it) Him. A few verses later Mary and His brothers and sisters (or more accurately cousins) come.

Did Mary doubt Jesus? And if she did, was this “sin”?

As I understand it the Roman Catholic Church (of which I am a proud member) do NOT maintain that Mary remained sinless, just that she was born sinless (made so at the moment of conception, ie the Immaculate Conception) but that our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Church claim she remained sinless…

Is this verse why we disagree (if indeed we do) with our Eastern Siblings?

Thank you for any insight you may have on this.

God bless.

Mike

First, the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is that Mary, by a special grace from God, was conceived without stain of original sin, and that by a special grace from God remained sinless her entire life. I’m not sure what the Eastern Church claims about her, but if she sinned during her life, what was the point of making her free from original sin?

Second, I do not believe that Mary had doubts about Jesus after He began His public ministry. Mark 3 says “his friends”, “his family” or even “his people” (depending which translation you use - verse 21), but doesn’t specifically mention His mother. Furthermore, we know she followed Him around during His ministry (along with other women that followed after Him).

Hope this helps!

Pax!

Mary never doubted Jesus, the Church teaches Mary was ever virgin in body and soul, ie she was sinless always. Luke 1 presents Mary as being the first believe in Christ, since she was told by the angel she would give birth to the Messiah, so it would be foolish to think Mary doubted Jesus. I have heard different things from the Eastern Orthodox, some of the Eastern fathers, pre and post schism taught the immaculate conception, others that she was sanctified in the womb, others at the annunciation. One Russian Orthodox told me at worst Mary committed what Catholics would consider venial sin. Eastern Catholics on the other hand have the same faith as we do and believe she was sinless since her creation.

Certainly the Second Council of Nicea speaks of Mary as being “immaculate”.

We are on the same page here. :thumbsup: A lot of scriptural misunderstanding comes from the verbiage used in certain translations, as well as profound cultural differences between then and now. In any event, to misunderstand or misperceive is not to sin. To be wrong or in error is not to sin. For sin to occur, the matter must be of a nature which is displeasing to God, and be done with full knowledge of that fact as well as deliberate consent.

Christ’s peace.

Thanks! I was confused because the Catachism says :

"493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. "

I assumed this meant that we (Roman) didn’t believe that she remained sinless. Well, I have always believed she did, but I thought it wasn’t a Church teaching, since that’s the only place I saw referance to it in the Catechism.

But back to Mark 3… It says His family (relatives I think in NAB) doubted Him and then 10 verses later Mary is at the door looking for Him. This could justifiably confuse our non-Catholic brothers and sisters into thinking Mary was included in “His relatives”… Is there a Scripture based arguement that would show she was not among the “relatives”?

I had always thought she was just worried about her Son because He couldn’t eat (due to the crowds) and came to check up on Him… But some non-Catholic friends insist this is a sign of Mary slipping into sin.

I’ll keep praying and reading :slight_smile: I’m sure I’ll find an answer.

God bless and thank you :slight_smile:

Mike

"493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. "

The Fathers of the East are Catholic.

[quote=Myqyl] But back to Mark 3… It says His family (relatives I think in NAB) doubted Him and then 10 verses later Mary is at the door looking for Him. This could justifiably confuse our non-Catholic brothers and sisters into thinking Mary was included in “His relatives”… Is there a Scripture based arguement that would show she was not among the “relatives”?
[/quote]

I would point out that if Mary isn’t a relative of Jesus, nobody is! However, I don’t think Mark 3 indicates that Mary had any doubts about Jesus. As one who believes in Sola Scriptura, I would suggest that if anyone tried to use this to “prove” Mary doubted, they would not be reading the scriptures properly. I would suggest that the Holy Spirit (who moved on the writers of Scripture) let us know when Mary was present, and such a statement is missing from Mark 3:21. Of course, Mary is a relative, but since she is not mentioned specifically, then I do not believe she was among those who doubted (even if she had been among them).

At the wedding feast at Cana, her words “Do whatever He tells you” express her total faith in her Son. Thus was begun Jesus’ public ministry.

There are some additional posts on this topic at the following thread:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=386114

In that thread, I responded with the following:

Nothing in Sacred Scripture contradicts the Catholic Church because they work in union together. Using this particular example to refute teachings about Mary is quite a ‘stretch.’ As the original post even quotes, Mary arrived later. Regardless, the following is the Douay Rheims translation of this passage and some related commentary from the Haydock version of the D-R:

[quote]Quote:
Mark 3:21 And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is become mad.

Ver. 21. And when his friends had heard of it;[1] literally, his own. We cannot here understand his apostles, for they were in the house with him; but either some of his kindred and friends, or some that were of the same country and town of Nazareth, though perhaps enemies to him. — For they said. It is not certain who said this, whether his friends or his adversaries. — He is become mad.[2] By the Greek, he is not himself. Christ might be called a madman by the Scribes and Pharisees, when he blamed their vices and when he preached with such extraordinary zeal. Or, as the Greek implies, he was thought to be transported out of his wits, and, as the Protestant translation hath it, was beside himself. If they were his friends that said this of him, they did not think so, but only pretended it, that they might get him safe out of the hands of his adversaries. (Witham)

[/quote]

I think its pretty clear from verses 31 & 32 that Mary arrived later and was not present with the people calling Jesus ‘mad’:

31 And his mother and his brethren came; and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him; and they say to him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. (Mark 3:31-32)

rocketrob

Why on earth would Mary have stayed with Him even to the foot of the Cross if she’d had doubts about His sanity?

As for the Immaculate Conception - the doctrine is that not only was Mary conceived free from original sin, but also that she stayed free of personal sin for her entire life.

Scriptures give us the pattern of her thought when confronted with any confusion or perplexity. Scripture says that Mary was one to “ponder things in her heart”. Because of this I always imagine our Blessed Mother as one who was very thoughtful and one who was not hasty to come to conclusions. I think this gives us circumstantial evidence that Mary would not be one hasty to come to the conclusion that her son was mad. Don’t forget all the miraculous experiences she had up to this point. She was visited by angels. Had a child without “knowing man”. Witnessed total strangers visit her newborn and give him gifts worthy of a king. Be told that she was going to have a sword “pierce her side”. Then at the wedding at Cana gives the uncanny retort to the enigmatic statement of Jesus to do whatever Jesus tells them. We are talking about a real woman of faith. So, to thing that our Blessed Mother would do something that would indicate a lose of this faith is TOTALLY out of character with everything we know about this woman up to this point in the narrative up to this point – even though we are only at Mark 3: our Blessed Mother has demonstrated complete faithfulness.

MonFrere

Both Simon Peter and James wrote about the need to control our tongues. Mary pondered. The few lines she speaks in scripture are heavyweights.

Thank you all very much. I don’t know if I will be listened to, but I now know what to say :slight_smile:

God bless you all :slight_smile:

Mike

The passage in Mk. 3:20-21, 31 bothered me also for quite some time since, on the surface, it appears that the Blessed Virgin Mary & Jesus’ cousins (or step-brothers, if one is an Orthodox Christian) were against Him. I was finally able to do a more thorough analysis of the gospel accounts and come up with a remedy for this apparent problem. ----- Let’s look at the passage in Mark again:

He came home. Again [the] crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. / When His relatives heard of this they set out to seize Him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” // His Mother and His brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him.Mk. 3:20-21, 31

Here, we already see a discrepancy in the aforementioned line of reasoning. The “relatives” referenced that doubt Jesus are already in His presence as of Mk. 3:20-21. “His Mother and His brothers” do not appear on the scene until Mk. 3:31. Therefore, we can see from what is written in Mk. 3:20-21 & Mk. 3:31 that these verses cannot be referencing the same individuals. ----- So, who exactly are the “relatives” referred to in Mk. 3:20-21 that are doubting Jesus and accusing Him of being insane?

I believe that the reconciliation between Mk. 3:20-21 & Mk. 3:31 can be found in Jn. 10:19-20. Here Jesus has just given His teaching on The Good Shepherd. At its conclusion, its reads:

Again there was a division among the Jews because of these words. / Many of them said, “He is possessed and out of his mind; why listen to him?”Jn. 10:19-20

So, from what is written in Jn. 10:19-20, it would appear to be clarified that the “relatives” referenced in Mk. 3:20-21 were actually Jesus’ fellow “Jews”.

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