Monday, January 17, 2011

Truly Blessed

Luke 11:28 But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

28 αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν· μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.

This is Jesus's response to someone who commented that His mother must be particularly blessed.  He contradicts the statement with this one.  The statement is introduced with the weak adversative δὲ, which is fairly common in dialog.  Then He uses the adversative particle μενοῦν.  He does this with two participles.  Basically, He says, "The ones who are hearing the word of God and keeping it -- those are the ones who are truly blessed."  That's pretty much the same as the translation, but with a bit of extra emphasis.

My point is that Jesus flatly denies that there is anything extraordinary about His mother.  We know from Elizabeth that Mary is special and that she is blessed.  However, you would think that if she had the status conferred upon her by the Roman Catholic Church it would come through here.  This was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to first agree with the speaker and then emphasize that those who hear the word of God and keep it are even more blessed.  Instead, He uses an adversative.

This is just one more reason from Scripture not to venerate Mary as the Roman Catholics do.  She should be honored and esteemed for sure.  But in the end she is just a woman, though one who was chosen by God for an incredible task  Let's remember that when we consider her, amen?

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