“Blessed is the womb that bore you…”
– Luke 11:27
In our search for spiritual cleansing and holiness, we must take great care that we do not add into our lives that which seems to be good and holy, yet completely inaccurate. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was called by the angel Gabriel “highly favored” and “blessed among women.” In Mary’s own words, she said, “generations will call me blessed.” The woman in the crowd shouting out to Jesus that His mother was blessed definitely proclaimed the truth, and Jesus ultimately agreed. Leaving the story here then would seem to confirm the worship and elevation of someone other than Christ.
Jesus had just finished teaching about demon possession and replacing emptiness with Christ, and Him alone. No doubt, this random woman in the crowd was moved emotionally and meant well. More than likely, she was trying to bring honor to the Lord’s family. What is impressive is Jesus’ response to this woman’s shouts. He was respectful to the woman, honored His mother, and still brought praise and glory to Himself. Lovingly and tenderly, Jesus gently took the focus off of a prominent figure and put it back on Him, the most important person. It is the perfect example of what our approach should be today.
Jesus agreed with this woman. Yet He went on to teach truth and gently correct by saying, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus had done this once before when his mother and brothers came looking for Him. He responded that those who “hear the word of God and do it” are His family. The Lord even said of His cousin, John the Baptist, that although he was the greatest prophet that ever lived, the disciple of Jesus was more significant. That is the esteem God has for His obedient children.
In our emotionalism, we can begin to think and say things that sound accurate and true. However, we must be sure they line up with scripture, the full counsel of God. The truth will always point to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith. We must ensure we take great care that we do not add into our lives that which seems to be good and holy, yet completely inaccurate.
“Christians should be grateful to God for the gift of his written Word, and conscientious in basing their faith and life entirely and exclusively upon it. Otherwise, we cannot ever honor or please him as he calls us to do.”
– J.I. Packer