Why Does Jesus Call Mary Woman?
by Arthur Policarpio
Why does Jesus call Mary Woman in the Bible?
Many non-Catholics point to this fact in trying to downplay the importance of the Blessed Mother in Christian life. In fact, many of them seemingly use this to justify NOT giving the Blessed Mother the respect and veneration that Catholics give her.
Is Jesus being disrespectful of His Mother when He calls her Woman? And as such, are we supposed to follow the Protestant "logic" that since Jesus called Mary Woman, we should not give her as much honor as we should?
There are two (2) ways of answering this question.
First, does Jesus' calling Mary "Woman" connote a certain level of disrespect? The answer, of course, is NO! Simple logic will answer this. Jesus, the Son of God, gave this as one of His principal commandments: "Honor your father and your mother." Do you think that Jesus, who is God, will contradict Himself and not practice what He taught? That is, do you think that He Himself, who gave the command to honor father and mother, will NOT Himself honor His own mother?
Second, Jesus' calling Mary "Woman" has a deeper theological meaning. Church scholars preach that the reason Jesus calls His Mother "Woman" is to refer to her as the "Woman" foretold in Genesis. In Genesis 3:15, after banishing Adam and Eve from the heavenly paradise, God made a promise to the serpent. He said that He will "put enmity between you and the Woman, between her offspring and yours. She will crush your head, and you shall bite her heel."
At the very beginning of our salvation history, God promised to send a "Woman" whose offspring will crush the head of the serpent. That "Woman" is Mary, and the "offspring" is Jesus.
Whenever Jesus calls Mary "Woman", therefore, He exalts her by pointing out to us that Mary is the fulfillment of the prophecy and promise that God made at the very beginning of human history. Mary is the "Woman" who will crush the head of the serpent! She is the victorious "Woman" give birth to Jesus, her Offspring, who triumphs over Satan.
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