Mary just a vessel?

I’ve heard in many Protestent Churchs I’ve attended that Mary (the Mother of Jesus) was just a vessel, that God could have picked Any Woman, but He just happened to pick Mary.


Just a few thoughts for those of you who agree with the above statement, or who’s Church’s seem to teach this way of thinking.

  1. Why would God even need a Mother for His Son, Jesus? (After all God created the World, Adam and Eve, the Animals, ect. So why even bother with a Mother for His Son, Why not just make Jesus “appear” and be done with it?)

  2. So why Mary? Have any of the Prot. Chruchs really read the Bible and what it says about Mary?

  3. To Confirm a Mis-belief about Catholics, (We don’t Worship Mary) We Honor and Adore Her. God says plenty about why He choose Mary.

adelore asks: 2. So why Mary? Have any of the Prot. Chruchs really read the Bible and what it says about Mary?

A better question, somewhat related would be: Have any of the Cath. Chruchs really read the Bible and what is says about Mary?

From the RSV

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
38 And Mary said, **“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” **And the angel departed from her.

Seems to me that Mary is called out to be pretty special, much more than just a vessel. Combine that with her presence at Christ’s first miracle and her role in the Passion and she adds up to be a pretty important figure.

The theology of Marian devotion is all over this board, so it’s probably not worth getting into here. However, for our sola scriptura friends out there, I find it hard to ignore the significance of an Angel telling Mary that she “has found favor with God.” That alone calls us to offer some reverence to her role in salvation.

To be fair to non–Catholic Western Christians, many of whom are conversant with the Gospel accounts, it perhaps might be helpful to point out that the Virgin Mary never boasts or makes any attempt at self–aggrandizement. There are only two times that we are exposed to her actual words:

a) when she visits the mother of John the Baptist; and,
b) during the wedding at Cana.

Do you think a possible lesson we Christians might draw from this is that God does His work quietly and simply?


Mary, woman of faith, is a perfect example of a true Christian

When humankind first sinned against our Creator, God immediately condemned the tempter, saying, “I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head.” [Genesis 3:15] Mary, whom Jesus made mother of all persons from the cross, [John 19:26-27] please, with the Angels, fight the ancient enemy in our lives, for sake of the redemption that your Son won for us.

You were obedient: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said is done to me.” [Luke 1:38]

You were unselfish and kind. Although yourself pregnant, you hurried to assist your older cousin in her pregnancy as soon as Gabriel informed you of it. God rewarded your faith and love by allowing the Spirit to speak to through Elizabeth:

“Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured by a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment that your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” [Luke 1:39-45]

In you, the Spirit responded,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because He has looked upon His lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is His name,
and His mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of His arm, He has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry He has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of His mercy
—according to the promises He made to our ancestors—
of His mercy to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” [Luke 1:46-79]

You rejoiced for the blessing given to you Mary, and for those given to all persons through the Child whom you carried in your womb—for we also are descendants of Abraham, by faith. [Romans 4:12]

You, in this loving concern for others, interceded for their needs even while on earth, exhorting them to obedient faith like your own, “do whatever He tells you”. He initially reproved you—“My hour is not yet come.” [John 2:4, 5] However, He granted your humble request.

Woman of faith, although your life held many perplexities and seeming inconsistencies, you treasured and pondered these brief manifestations of divine action in your Son’s life without losing your humble trust. [Luke 2:19-20] For it might have seemed that God could make better arrangements for the conditions of His divine Son’s birth! When you heard of the terrible slaughter of the innocent infants, intended to include Jesus, this massacre devastated your maternal heart on behalf of those other mothers. You might have said, “How can God allow this?” When you fled as a refugee with all the grief, displacement and destitution that refugee families may suffer you still kept faith. Again, you trusted, as He hung dying horribly wounded and humiliated upon a criminal’s cross.

Mary, we thank you for your care of that incomparable Child, whose coming was foretold centuries before. We thank you—for the Child whom you bore and nurtured is Saviour of all humankind! Thank you for your faith, for your obedience, for your faithfulness through all those years when the extraordinary promise made to you might have seemed lost in daily routine.

I agree. She is also the first Christian.


I think the reason there’s relatively little about the Blessed Virgin in the Bible is because during her life, she was so humble. Her glory was only revealed afterwards. She was entirely hidden, known only to God.

But even with what we have in the Bible, we can see that she is special. What about Rev. 11-12? :slight_smile: that names her as the Ark of the new Covenant! Some people say that the ‘woman’ in Rev. 12 is the Church, but the Church did not give birth to a “male son” (Christ) who will “rule the nations”.

Also, she is called “blessed among women”, and “full of grace”.
That is more than could be said about any other woman in the Bible.
She was personally visited by an Archangel!

More than anything she is the Mother of God (since Christ is God).

It makes me soo sad to hear Protestants or others call her “just a vessel” :frowning:

She willingly *consented *to the Incarnation… God didn’t JUST “choose her”, she obeyed. It is because of her choice that we now have a Savior! Could God had chosen another way to save us? yes… but He decided on this one. Mary was not necessary but He MADE her necessary. :slight_smile:

I think Jesus is very pleased when we honour His Mother, and it offends Him when we dishonour her. When we call her “blessed”, when we say the Hail Mary, we just repeat what the Angel said to her. :slight_smile: Mary said, **“all generations will call me blessed”, **and we are doing just that with the Rosary.

A better question, somewhat related would be: Have any of the Cath. Chruchs really read the Bible and what is says about Mary?

there is only one Catholic Church… and yes we do read the Bible… :slight_smile:

The response to this one is simple. I just chuckle, roll my eyes, and say, “oh, yes, and the ark of the covenant was JUST a box”

That Mary was humble is hard to argue with. However, if we hold that the words contained within the Bible are those that God wanted, Mary’s humbleness wouldn’t be a factor in what is stated about her in the Bible.

Also, I might suggest that while I agree with you that Mary was humble, so were many other persons-Bible figures which get lots of print time in the Bible. I would submit that a qualification for getting deemed right in the eyes of God would be humbleness towards God. Jesus said as much in the Sermon on the Mound. I give the example of Daniel, he refered to himself as a humble servent of God and 6+ cenutries later Jesus had nothing but good things to say about him. Daniel gets lots of press in the Bible.

Just curious…what is your view of Mary and your understanding of the Catholic Church’s devotion to her?

O what an experience you have had! I have been in a few Protestant Churches myself, actually more than a few and over many years. Four different states, seven different denominations, plus independent churches. The subject of Mary comes up about once a year maybe. All this time I have thought that my Protestant experience is on a par with the typical North American Protestant churchgoer. Now I find out that no, Protestants, real Protestants spend lots of time discussing Mary! Look at what I’m missing out on!

So, I have to conclude adelore, that you must have this amazing ability to know just when to attend Protestant Churches, which one to attend so as to hit it on the exact day Mary is discussed. I salute you.

Would it be OK if I cut and paste my answer from some Catholic web site?

Why would you ask that? The question was about your view. Not someone else’s. Could you put it in your own words? I’m very interested in the answer, but in your own words.

This has to be one of the most absurd and ignorant questions I’ve seen on this forum. Of COURSE the Catholic Church read the Bible - uh, WE WROTE THE THING! :rolleyes:

Yes it is ok as long as you adhere to the forum rules. Only post a portion of it, and provide a link to the source. Check out the full forum rules for all the details. :wink:


Liza, From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping to write the Bible. I’m sure that our Heavenly Father is pleased with you for all that you have done. Now would you please do us one more favor and turn down the voulme on your halo, your blinding me.

Would it be OK if I cut and paste my answer from some Catholic web site?

Hi Jon Hus,

Orthodox Christians refer to the Virgin Mary as Theotokos, which literally translated means “The One who bore God” or “The God bearer.” Theotokos perhaps describes the significance of Mary’s role with greater clarity. Orthodox Christians regard Mary as the great example, not the great exception – Orthodox Christians do not embrace the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The following is from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom:

It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without defilement you gave birth to God the Word. True Theotokos we magnify you.

Do you approve or disapprove of the Orthodox position as I’ve here briefly presented it?


So happy to be of service to you. :getholy: :rolleyes:

No - we did not HELP to write the Bible. We DID write it, with Divine Inspiration. Did you honestly think that some grand godly hand came down from heaven and picked up a pen? What do you mean by “helped”?

This is fundamental to this discussion. If you think that the Bible just appeared, or that it was written by anyone other than Catholic men, then you are never going to accept the belief about Mary. The Bible is a CATHOLIC document. We wrote it, we assembled it. What is contained in that document is divinely inspired - and that divine inspiration was given directly and only to men of the Church that Jesus Christ left to us through the Apostles. That would be the Catholic Church.



I stand corrected Liza. I’m sure that the Jews are just as happy as I am that you and the Catholics wrote their Bible also.

What is wrong with that? Not everyone is as articulate as they wish they could be, and often find something written by someone else that voices their thoughts exactly.

I see nothing wrong with using something from someone else and saying >>>> yeah, what he said!! :slight_smile:


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