Mary – Theotokos

Mary – Theotokos

I come from a Western Christian tradition that really downplays the importance of Mary in the biblical narrative. This is probably bound up in the Protestant Churches concern with the assumption that there is worship of Mary by some in Christendom.

Having read the scriptures afresh and considered the history of the early church both East & West it seems apparent that many in the Protestant tradition may have “thrown the baby out with the bathwater”

When I read the story of Abraham and Sarah, I’m immediately drawn to the similar circumstances of both women albeit not exactly the same. Both were not capable of bearing children, Sarah was old and past the age of childbearing and Mary was a virgin, both impossible obstacles to getting pregnant.

In Judaism Sarah is esteemed and regarded highly and their scholars state:

Sarah, the first of the four Matriarchs, has come to symbolize motherhood for the entire world. The midrash presents her as a prophet and a righteous woman whose actions are worthy of emulation; she converted Gentiles and drew them into the bosom of Judaism. Sarah was also the first of seven prophetesses who were mentioned in Tanach (the Bible). This is our mother Sarah, and she has always been a great inspiration for all Jewish daughters and mothers, everywhere and for all times.


Both Mary and Sarah carried a child of promise, but Mary is very different from Sarah. When Sarah was confronted with the promised declaration of God what was her response. Remember Sarah stood very near the Lord manifest in the three visitors whilst Mary was visited by an angel of God.

Sarah’s response – Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” Genesis 18:12

Mary’s response – Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38


Despite her youth, lack of life experience and the implications of being with child resulting in being considered an adulterous woman she declares.

Luke 1:48 – For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.


Mary is a woman of great faith and the “God Bearer” or “Theotokos” she is clearly great among the saints triumphant; the cloud of witnesses and she is blessed not simply blessed at that time but generationally blessed for all time as the term “all generations” declares.

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