David Lee Brown
Mary Mother of Jesus
Both the Catholics and the Muslims portray Mary or Miriam (Maryam) as a perfect person. Sinless before God. In Catholicism, Mary is occasionally venerated to the point of Mary's worship. Now, that’s not all Catholics, just a fringe group that feels she should be equally worshipped as a co-saviour with Jesus. In Islam, an entire chapter in the Quran is dedicated to telling Mary’s story. Mary Mother of Jesus is also the only woman mentioned in the Quran. The Quran 10:94, also instructs people that need further theological guidance, to refer to the Christian Holy Bible and the Jewish Holy Scriptures. The Jewish scriptures are incomplete because they don’t have the New Testament. This means that the Quran itself testifies to the superiority of the Christian Holy Bible.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Christians, Catholics, and Muslim scripture all agree that Jesus is the Word of God and therefore Jesus is the Creator God of absolutely everything. Muslims will not admit to that but it is clearly written in the Quran 3:45-55.
Mary Mother of Jesus in Catholicism
The Catholic Church teaches that she was conceived without original sin, therefore receiving a higher level of veneration than all other saints. Catholic Mariology thus studies not only her life but also the veneration. The Catholic church even places her above the original apostles. Some, even venerate her to the point of co-savior. They feel Mary and Jesus are required for salvation, even though the Bible clearly shares Jesus Christ alone is responsible for our salvation. Again, this is belief of a fringe group, but it is not Biblical.
Mary Mother of Jesus in Islam
The Quran, which refers to Mary 70 times and explicitly identifies her as the greatest of all women, "O Mary, God has chosen you, and purified you; He has chosen you above all the women of creation.” Qur'an 3:42 According to the Quran, divine grace surrounded Mary from birth, and as a young woman, she received a message from God through the archangel Gabriel that God had chosen her, purified her, and had preferred her above all the women of the worlds.
Mary Mother of Jesus in Christianity
In Christianity, Mary was an ordinary Jewish girl. She was a virgin and highly favored by God, yet still a sinner in need of salvation. She gave birth to her savior who imparted salvation to her in accordance with her belief and faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Now, Highly Favored is important to define. To the Catholics and Muslims, and some Christians it means that she received Grace directly from God at the moment God recognized her as “highly favored.” The Greek word used translated as “favored” means, graciousness of manner or act. This Greek word chairo, is often translated into English as Grace or Favor. In the case of Mary, everything hinged on her belief. She believed that Jesus was the Son of God, therefore she may have received grace through her faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior prior to his conception. Because of her belief that she would be soon visited by the Holy Spirit. And would miraculously conceive God the Son and name Him Jesus, according to what the angel Gabriel told her. She received grace all purely by her faith.
In my opinion and in accordance with my studies of scripture, Mary was in need of a savior. She was born in sin, as the scripture states. Then she was required to believe in order to be saved. Her unmerited favor from God – God’s grace – was imparted upon her at the moment that she believed that Jesus, her prophesied child, would be conceived by the Holy Spirit and at conception be both the son of Mary and the Son of God. Jesus, who is reigning forever and ever right now. She accepted Jesus Christ before His conception. I cannot know that because I wasn’t there and don’t know what her thoughts and beliefs were at the time. But I can make the assumption based on her life, dedication, service, and testimony within the pages of the Bible.