Mary is NOT the Best Example

We have been engaging with some Roman Catholic Defenders on a social media. The encounter is about the Immaculate Conception of Mary being a dogma of the Roman Catholic church which we can hardly find supported in the Scriptures.

Their argument goes on to prove that Mary must be sinless in order for the Most Holy God to dwell in her. They say that Mary becoming sinless and full of grace was one of God’s steps towards saving mankind. One of their defenders say that it is needed because through Mary, the world would know that man can avoid sinning. And because of that, Mary is the best example not Jesus., since Jesus is God and can never sin. Just like Mary, we see that we can avoid sin when God is with us.

They pointed out that those who argue otherwise are expressing low regard for Jesus. Since in their doctrine, we glorify God and Christ best through Mary.

She is a good example but not the best. Christ doesn’t have to be a MERE MORTAL to be the best example. He is truly and fully man as well. And also, their argument is loaded with a premise that is NOT TRUE, that Mary is sinless as she was immaculately conceived.

So they cannot insist that “IN THE CATEGORY OF MERE MORTALS, Mary is our best example that men can stay away from sin.” They further state that it is a fact, that in the realm of mere mortals Mary stands out from the rest and she IS THE BEST ONE.

However, there is no account that she is the best and did not sin. The Bible nowhere told us to even follow her example. And in the Scriptures we can find accounts were she sinned, that prove she is not the best example.1

  • Mary complained in Luke 2:48-49. Raymond Brown, who is an RCC scholar states, “Mary’s complaining question in v. 48 seems to be a reproach to Jesus”. Complaining is certainly not a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and a sin (Jude 1:16).
  • Mary held Jesus in dishonor. In Mark 6:4, we see Mary, which is a member of Jesus’ family held him in dishonor. Even the Catholic commentator Richard P. McBrien points out that, “We find a somewhat negative portrait of Mary in the Gospel of Mark. . .” 
  • Mary believed that Jesus was out of mind. In Mark 3:20-21, Mary and others even showed their lack of faith in seeking to take Jesus home (Mark 3:31-32). So, Mary and others demonstrated that they were of little faith. The Scriptures testify that lack of faith is sin (Matt 14:31Rom 14:23Jas 1:6).

We see from the above examples that Mary sinned. She can be one among the good examples (David, Moses, Abraham, Paul, etc.) but definitely not the best! Again their argument is built upon an invented doctrine that is nowhere taught in the Scriptures.

Now we ask, where can we find in the Scriptures that she is the best example for Christians? To say that Christ can never sin because He is God and hence cannot be the best example is to miss the entire point of Christ becoming a man.

If they were to insist that Mary is the best example, they have to change those verses that specifically speak about Christ being the best example for our daily walk.

Let’s see the verses below. Let’s see how it turns out if we replace Jesus with Mary,

  • Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Mary.
  • 1 Cor 11:1 Follow my example as I follow the example of Mary.
  • 1 John 2:6 The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as Mary walked.
  • 1 Peter 2:21-23 For to this you have been called, because Mary also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in her (Mary) steps.

However, all of these verses exclusively refer to Christ not to Mary as our example. So, their argument that Jesus cannot be our example since He is God and because He cannot sin is a teaching that the Scriptures strongly oppose. Christ Himself tells us to follow His example. He said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).

The good news is that Jesus, who is in the very form of God became a man, truly God and truly man is able to sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). When we struggle against sin in our daily walk we are called to “consider Him” who endured that we “may not grow weary” (Hebrews 12:3-4).

He came first and foremost to save His people from their sins and He is not dependent on any man or woman in order to do His Father’s will. He shed His blood and died on the cross for our sake. and His blood is sufficient to appease the Father’s wrath against our sins and enough for our cleansing and forgiveness. Come to Him alone by faith and be saved! Trust in Him, not in yourself or in any other add-ons doctrines that deny the sufficiency of what He did on the cross for sinners, like you and me.

Mary’s attitude is good to emulate but she is not the best example. Christ is. This is not to denigrate Mary but to state the fact that she is not sinless and definitely not “THE” best example. Christ is THE MODEL for Christian life. If you wanted to please God, be like Christ! And in the gospel, we can be transformed from glory unto glory in the image of the Son.

If we exalt Mary this way, we are robbing Christ of His glory. One of our brothers pointed out, “Think about that every time you pray and every time you enter the place of worship.” Man should not be exalted, anyone should not be added to the sufficiency of Christ or even take the place of our Savior.

After all, that’s why we are called Christianos. Ultimately, we are followers of Christ, not of any man exalted by another man or group of men, or any religious system. Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” Luke 9:23. Are you a follower of Christ? Is He enough for you?



Cover photo by Tumisu from

1 The examples and quotations from RCC scholars are taken from Dr. Joseph R. Nally’s What is the Immaculate Conception?

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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