Using Jaroslav Pelikan’s commentary on Actsin the Brazos Theological Commentary set, this series of short posts will explore some of the 84 significant theological issues raised by Luke in Acts and identified by Pelikan.
A 2nd issue is found in Acts 1:14: 14They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
The language “joined together” “serves to emphasize association rather than mere accompaniment, and therefore the solidarity of the disciples then, and of the church ever since, with Mary the mother ofJesus…” Whereas Paul does not mention the virginal conception of Jesus and refers to Mary only indirectly (Gal. 4:4) and never by name, Luke mentions her name more often and gives more space to her story than any other evangelist–even more than John who was entrusted by Jesus to care for Mary (Jn. 19:26-27). For that matter, Luke deals more with Mary than all other New Testament writers combined.
Pelikan argues that on the basis of the above, that “above all Mary, the mother of Jesus, may be regarded as the principal source, more or less indirect, for the account of the infancy of the Savior” in Luke 1-2. Luke mentions that his account is drawn from those who were eyewitnesses (Lk. 1:2) and Mary would have been the ultimate eye witness. “Specifically, she was the single eyewitness ‘from the [very] beginning’ and the preeminent human actor for his narratives of the annunciation, nativity, and infancy…” It is little wonder that in early church history Mary was given the honorific title “theotokos”–Mother of God and was featured prominently in church writings and iconography.
It seems that Mary is either overemphasized in some Christian groups or underemphasized. Why? What’s your take on Mary?