My reverential column on Mary-Miriam, the mother of Jesus-Yeshua, on Christmas Day was intended to show a side of this heroine of the faith that is seldom considered in church sermons, movies and books about the nativity and even beautiful songs about her.
Most of the feedback I received about the piece was positive, indeed.
And then there was this one from Joe Sterns:
“Mary is the Mother of God. The rhetorical gymnastics that Protestants exert to deny this is quite amusing. But, lo, a simple syllogism:
“1. Jesus is God.
“2. Mary was the Mother of Jesus.”
I want to thank Mr. Sterns for the challenge. Though, his assumption that I am a “Protestant” is factually incorrect.
Many people think the entirety of the Christian world can be divided into two camps – Catholics and Protestants.
This is simply not true.
While Protestants comprise many non-Catholic denominations, it is just plain wrong to split all of Christianity into those two sub-groups. Let me explain why.
The assumption pre-supposes that Catholicism is the original Christian faith – the one and only that existed following Jesus’ ascension. There is no historical or biblical evidence to suggest such a thing, while there is overwhelming historical and biblical evidence to prove otherwise.
The original Christian faith could accurately be called, in today’s terms, “messianic Judaism.” Mary-Miriam, Joseph-Yosef, James-Yacob, Peter-Shimon, Paul-Shaul, John-Yochanan and all of the early apostles and disciples were Jews – Jews who never stopped being Jews, Jews who worshiped in the Temple and in synagogues all their lives, Jews who embraced their Jewish Messiah, Jews who followed the Torah, kept the Sabbath and the biblical holy days of Leviticus 23 just as Jesus-Yeshua did.
In other words, there have always been other forms of Christianity besides Catholicism. To be a “Christian” simply means to be a follower of the Messiah – “Christ” being the Greek word for “Messiah.”
The Protestant Reformation did not come for nearly 1,600 years. Before that, and thereafter, there have always been Christian believers who never subscribed to either Catholicism or belonged to a Protestant denomination. There always will be.
While I was raised Catholic and later joined various Protestant denominations and worshiped in non-denominational churches, today I consider myself simply a follower of Jesus-Yeshua in the tradition of the first century believers who accept only the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
Now, onto the not-so-simple syllogism: Yes, Jesus is God. And, yes, Mary-Miriam was the mother of Jesus. However, there’s more to the story.
Jesus-Yeshua pre-existed His birth through Mary-Miriam. In fact, we are told in the Bible, Jesus-Yeshua was the Creator of the universe. Yes, the Creator of the universe.
Consider John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Here’s a syllogism that applies:
- Jesus is the Word.
- The Word was with God and was God.
- All things were made by Him.
Further, just so there is no room for ambiguity, consider John 1:10: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
And then there is John 8:58 from Jesus-Yeshua’s own lips: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Here He not only tells us that He existed before Abraham but that He is God – the great “I am.”
Consider also, Hebrews 1:1-2: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. …”
Lastly, Ephesians 3:9: “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
Mary-Miriam is not diminished because we don’t call her the mother of God. She was chosen among all the women who ever lived to be the mother of Jesus-Yeshua, so that He could die for our sins, be our Atoner, Redeemer, King and High Priest. Isn’t that more than sufficient to hold her in the highest regard, blessed among all women and the handmaid of the Lord?
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].