[by Wayne Johnston] Now that Christmas is behind us for this year, I would like to write about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Lots has been written over the years of her great attributes, her holiness and purity of spirit; many songs have been written, paintings painted, and her statues fill churches all over the world, signaling her out as the “highly favoured one” of God (Luke 1:28).
Can you imagine how you would feel if God sent Gabriel to you one night to announce that in God’s eyes you are a “highly favoured one”? Would you look for your statues in churches alongside Mary’s?
But what does it mean to be highly favoured? The Greek word for “highly” is “protokathedria” (Strong’s concordance # 4410). It simply means a front row seat, or best seat in the house. The word for “favoured” is “charitoo” (Strong’s concordance #5487). It means “to grace, i.e. to indue with special honour, make accepted, to be highly favoured”.
So let’s look at Gabriel’s announcement in the light of these two Greek words – Mary, you have a front row seat because God wants to honour you and endue you with special grace, you highly favoured one! No wonder Mary is worshiped by some!
So, why would we be talking about “Mary and Me”?
Ephesians 1:6 says, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” (NKJV)
The whole first chapter of Ephesians shows us what Christians have in Christ. Paul says that in Christ we are accepted in the beloved (or the love of God). The word “accepted” is a translation of the same Greek word “charitoo”, that is translated “favoured” regarding Mary.
This Greek word “charitoo” is only found in these two New Testament passages. If a word is used only two times in the Bible, the two times it is used are significant, and both references should be studied because they are related by that same Greek word.
One refers to Mary, and the other refers to me, and Fred and Sue and every other follower of Christ. (I realize there is not enough room in most churches for statues of all of us, so Mary can represent us all who are favoured by God!)
I am really not trying to annoy anyone by writing this, but any time I get a fresh picture of how much God loves, favours and accepts me, and each one of us, it simply amazes me. All I want to do is to get on my knees, worship God and thank Him that we (Mary, you, and me) are His favoured ones.
I don’t always understand what God does, but to quote Mary, “be it unto me, oh God!” I want to follow the one who went to the cross for me, and calls me “favoured”! Thank you, my Saviour!