Mary, Really the Mother of God?
Of course! This is quite simply explained. The main puzzle is why any Christian should object to the title of Mother of God. All Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and also IS God, being the 2nd Person of the Trinity, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is also the son of Mary. Now many Protestants are quite prepared to say "Mary, Mother of Jesus," but balk at saying "Mary, Mother of God." Why?
There is probably an element of cultural conditioning here. Giving Mary such a title like Mother of God seems too grand to many protestants. For centuries most protestants have tried to ignore Mary, and have avoided all talk and discussion of her - except perhaps to condemn Catholic "excesses". But this is a serious matter. To call Mary the "Mother of Jesus" and yet refuse to call her "Mother of God" is to diminish Jesus as well as Mary, for it is a denial that Jesus is truly or fully God.
It was this sort of thinking that led to the formal definition of the title Mother of God at the Council of Ephesus in 431AD. Patriarch Nestorius had preached that Mary was not Mother of God, being only the mother of Jesus's physical body, which was then indwelt by God the Word. This was condemned as Heresy, since the Gospels tell us that the Word did not unite with man, but was made man. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.." (John 1.14). This is a crucial difference. Jesus was not two persons: the Son of God, and the Son of Mary, but one person, the Son of God and Mary. If this were not so, his death could not have saved us.
THE NATURE OF JESUS
1. To be our Saviour, Jesus needed to be both fully God, and fully man, descended from Adam. He could not be a counterfeit, or someone who just looked human..
2. God the Word has existed as spirit from the beginning of time.
3. At the Incarnation, through the action of the Holy Spirit, God the Word took flesh and full humanity from the Virgin Mary. Both His Human Nature and His human body came from Mary, These united with His Divine Nature in Jesus.
4. This produced one person with one consciousness, both fully God and fully man, who is truly both Son of God and Son of Mary.
5. The Virgin Mary is therefore the Mother of ALL of the PERSON of Jesus Christ, and is therefore truly Mother of God the Son.
Nestorius did not recant, and founded his own church - which is no longer with us. In effect, in saying that Mary was the Mother of Jesus, but not the Mother of God, he was denying the reality of the incarnation. Attempts to downgrade Mary seem always lead to a downgrading of the full divinity of Jesus.
BUT DOESN'T CONCENTRATING ON THE VIRGIN MARY DISTRACT US FROM GOD AND FROM JESUS?
This is a common complaint of Protestants, but one I really fail to understand. Does admiring any part of God's creation distract you from God? When you walk through a forest of tall, ancient trees and you admire their beauty, does it distract you from God? When you look at a sunset or a towering mountain, does that turn you away from God? Of course not. For most people such things draw them closer to God.
Similarly when you admire people like St Francis, Mother Theresa, or other Christians who have given up their lives to serve God. Does that make you turn away from God - or is it more likely to make you think of the greatness of the God who inspired such people? So it is also with Mary who is the Mother of God. ~