I am a confirmed WELS Lutheran. However, I was raised Catholic. One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is how do Lutherans view Mary, the mother of Jesus. What is the Lutheran teaching regarding Mary? I have gotten conflicting opinions on this subject and would like clarification. Thank you!
We view Mary as the woman God graciously chose to give birth to Jesus Christ. Mary received that honor and privilege only because of God’s grace to her (Luke 1:26-38).
Roman Catholic Church teaching is that Mary entered this world as a baby without a sinful nature. The Bible does not teach that. The Bible teaches that all people born from a human father and a human mother are conceived and born in sin (John 3:6). Like all such people, Mary was in need of a Savior to forgive her sins. She recognized her sinfulness and need for a Savior (Luke 1:47). Roman Catholic Church teaching is that Mary did not commit actual sins. The Bible teaches that all people born from a human father and a human mother are guilty of sin (Psalm 14:2-3; Romans 3:23).
Roman Catholic Church teaching is that Mary remained a virgin after she gave birth to Jesus by not having sexual relations with Joseph. The Bible does not teach that. Roman Catholic Church teaching is that Mary’s body and soul went to heaven at the end of her earthly life. The Bible does not teach that. Roman Catholic Church teaching is that Mary is in a position to receive and answer prayers that are directed to her. The Bible teaches that any acts of worship, including prayer, are to be directed to God alone (Matthew 4:10; Revelation 22:9). Roman Catholic Church teaching speaks of a “saving office” of Mary. The Bible does not teach that. There is only one Savior and mediator between God and people: Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
When we stick to what the Bible teaches, we will understand that Mary was a person who received a great blessing from God in being the woman to give birth to the Christ child. From the Bible, we will see that the Savior, Jesus Christ, came to save people from their sins, including Mary.
I hope this clarification is helpful.