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Published Date: October 31, 1998

Published Date: October 31, 1998

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Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Apostle John

I attend a Bible Study at my church, Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal in St. Paul, Minnesota. For the season of Advent, we decided to examine the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of Christ and his mission.

During the third week in Advent, our Rector posed the question, “Of all the characters in the Bible, who would you like to interview concerning who this Christ is and why he came?” We pondered the question for a moment and before I could open my mouth to say “Mary,” a man in the group said: “Mary, his mother.”

We then mulled over the few passages that deal directly with Mary, particularly Luke 1, John 2:1-11, and John 19:25-27. We thought it interesting that Jesus’ first miracle was making water into wine (significant to a eucharistic community) and was witnessed by Mary. We were also interested in the fact that Jesus gave John, the disciple he loved, the responsibility to care for his mother. We considered how John’s relationship with Mary, the discussions they had, and the insights they shared, may have played a part in the Gospel of John. Recalling Mary’s words in the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55), we looked at the Prologue of John’s Gospel and found phrases that seemed as if they might have come from Mary. We concluded that Mary is a probable source for John’s insights into Jesus’ true identity.