3 Reasons You Should Get to Know Mary

Mary Devoted to God's PlanIf we’re truly honest, few of us would want to fill Mary’s shoes in real life. Being an unwed mother is no easy task in our society; in Mary’s culture, it could merit the death penalty. Yet when Gabriel burst into Mary’s home and announced the risky role God had chosen her for, she not only accepted—she sang, proclaiming herself blessed among women.

Perhaps this is why, when we think of Mary, we struggle to see her as anything other than the mother of Jesus. As we watch her unflinchingly scrap her own hopes and aspirations in service to God, we subconsciously elevate her as someone whose selflessness and grace are so far beyond our own experience that she can’t serve as a realistic role model.

But the Gospels tell a different story. They portray a young woman who sacrificed everything to become God’s servant, yet struggled in ways that feel strikingly familiar. Here are three reasons Mary is someone you should get to know.

1. She made mistakes

Any parent who has accidentally driven off without their child can take comfort, knowing they’re in good company. Imagine what Mary must have felt when she realized that she and Joseph had left Jesus—God’s Son—behind in Jerusalem after the Passover celebrations. It took her three days of frantic searching to locate him. [Read more...]

From Mother to Disciple: Mary’s Journey

Becoming a disciple of Jesus requires sacrifice, difficult decisions, and a willingness to be transformed—again and again. Putting on the new self in Christ demands change and perseverance. No one knew this better than Jesus’ mother, Mary.

Mary’s story provides a rich model for us as we seek to deepen our commitment to a life of discipleship. That’s why Logos has developed Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan, the second volume in the Studies in Faithful Living series. In this resource, we trace Mary’s journey of faith step by step as she follows God’s call. Mary’s continual shifts in identity presented challenging (and sometimes exhausting) sets of tasks: from those of a bride-to-be to those of an unwed pregnant woman to those of the mother of Christ. Toward her journey’s end, she encountered one more transformation—one only she would ever face. She went from being mother of God to child of God, from raising God’s son to following him, from teacher to disciple.

 

Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan walks you through the challenges of Mary’s journey. For her and for us, becoming a disciple of Christ requires humility, surrender, and an unwavering, sometimes blind faith in God’s plan. Mary’s devotion didn’t falter. Her journey wasn’t perfect—she sometimes misunderstood Jesus’ claims or urged him to act when he wasn’t ready to—but ultimately, she was willing to step back and allow God to lead her. Can we learn to do the same?

In Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan, you and your entire church or small group can follow Mary’s journey of faith, learning along with her what it means to become a disciple of Christ. As you explore history, culture, and literary insights into her story through this eight-week study, you’ll gain new insights into Mary, her perspective on Jesus’ life, and the dynamics between them.  Join us as we learn from Mary how to allow Christ to transform us. Order the individual book or the complete church curriculum now at the discounted Pre-Pub price!

Why Would Jesus Conceal His Identity?

As the saying goes, a man is only as good as his reputation. Unfortunately, reputations are fragile: anything from whispered insinuation to broadcast slander can shatter even the most guarded image. While this is especially true in our world of instant media, it was also true in Jesus’ day—and Jesus knew it. At least, that’s what John H. Morris Jr. argues in his The Messianic Secret in Mark.

As we read Mark’s Gospel, we find Jesus charging his followers to keep quiet about his miracles and identity (Mark 1:40–45; 8:29–30). Yet in other scenes, Jesus encourages people to tell others about him. These seeming discrepancies have puzzled interpreters for centuries, leading to suggestions that Mark invented the charges of silence to explain why Jesus never revealed his messianic nature during his life.

In The Messianic Secret in Mark, Morris argues that this isn’t the case; rather, these are accurate descriptions of the normal behavior of a high-profile first-century person trying to grow his or her reputation while protecting it from people who would seek to discredit it. Jesus was doing what he could to protect his public image. Sometimes that meant keeping his identity and miraculous works a secret.

Morris’ groundbreaking work explores these passages in Mark’s gospel from a social science model of deviance and name-calling.  Approaching the Gospel of Mark in its first-century context, Morris bridges the cultural gap between the first century and today, offering new insights into the peculiarities of Jesus’ behavior in proclaiming his ministry. With an annotated bibliography showing examples of insults, name-callings, and slanders from the New Testament era, Morris explores the lengths Jesus went to to ensure that his message of good news and salvation would spread.

Pre-order your copy today.