One Mediator


Q. Scripture says there is ONE mediator between God and man in I Tim 2:5. Aren’t Catholics going against scripture by praying to Mary and the saints?

A. No. Jesus as God/Man is the ONE mediator between God and Man. Mary and all the saints are human beings. God of course is God and Jesus is BOTH. So, He is the Mediator between God and Man. Mary and the Saints and all Christians living and dead are a part of the Body of Christ. When we “pray to the saints” we are merely asking for their intercession.

If we forbid “praying to the saints” (asking them to pray for us) then we would have to also forbid asking our Christian friends to pray for us on the ground that we are making them mediators between God and men.

Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 2:5

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

All, agree that Jesus is the High Priest, and yet as this verse says we share in His priesthood. The primary function of a priest is to offer sacrifice and prayer on behalf of others. Now, Jesus, offered His eternal sacrifice on the cross but He calls us to share in a lesser and dependent way in His unique and eternal sacrifice by offering up spiritual sacrifices as the priesthood of all believers.

In addition to offering spiritual sacrifices as we share, in a modest way, in Christ’s priesthood we are also called to offer prayers on behalf of all men as Paul urges in I Timothy.

1 Timothy 2:1-6

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all…

Our intercession on behalf of all men is priestly activity and a form of mediation between God and man.But, our mediation is through Jesus Christ, since we are His body. Therefore, Christ remains the ONE mediator between God and man.

This principle is repeated many times in the New Testament. For instance, in Mark 10:18 Jesus says “only God is good” and yet we can share in the absolute and perfect goodness in a lesser way because He says to His servant, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Mt 25:23.

And, only God is the Creator, the source of all creation and yet He shares His creative role with men and women in Procreation.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd and yet He delegates this role to St. Peter, (Jn 21:15-16) when He says to Peter three times to “Feed my sheep.” and later to others

Eph.4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers…

In the New Testament Greek, the word translated “pastors” is shepherd. Our English word pastor comes from the Latin for shepherd, pastorem, and still retains the sound and imagery of its archaic meaning, shepherd, one who pastures.

So, we have seen that Jesus shares His priestly ministry, creative power, and shepherding with His children even though He is the High Priest, all powerful Creator, and the Good Shepherd. He seems to like to work through ordinary people even if they are in Heaven.

Advertisements

9 Responses

  1. Romans 8:26-27 that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know how to pray. Then when we pray God already knows what we are asking because of the Holy Spirit has helped us. The body of Christ are to pray together or alone for each other but never to Mary or to the Saints who have gone to Heaven. Only to God the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit.

  2. BFHU: Where does scripture forbid asking Mary and the Saints to intercede for us?

    Jeremy:

    Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

    BFHU: But this passage does not forbid intercessory prayer of the saints in Heaven. This passage explains that the Spirit will intercede for us when we do not know what we ought to pray for. That is a great comfort of course. The Catholic Church believes this as well.

    But the issue of “praying to Mary and the Saints” is different than what this passage addresses. For Catholics, asking Mary or another Saint to pray for us is basically exactly the same as asking any other Christian to pray for us. It is all simply intercessory prayer. Just as you stated:

    “The body of Christ are to pray together or alone for each other…”

    Since Mary and the Saints are all a part of the Body of Christ we are asking them to pray together with us as you said. We consider them to be just as much a part of the Body of Christ as they were on Earth. And even more beautifully alive as they contemplate Our Lord in Heaven. And their love and concern for us is beautiful.

    What you may have misunderstood is that “Prayer to Saints” is not the same thing as Prayer to God. Prayer to Saints is a request to the saint to Pray FOR us to God or Pray WITH us to God. We know that God is the ONE who answers our prayer. Where as Prayer to God we are directly asking God to answer our prayer. We believe both types of pray, direct and intercessory, are legitimate.

    For more info see my post: Why do Catholics Pray to Mary?

    • So how can Mary or another saint keep up with millions of catholic prayers? Your assuming these “special” saints have one million brains, can interpret every language on the planet, can interpret all our feelings and words, and are therefore divine! Of course this is impossible. Hence, we pray to Christ because He alone is divine and can easily deal with trillions of prayers.

      • Joseph,
        Mary and the Saints can only hear our millions of prayers by the power of God. I have no idea how but that does not limit God. There is no language barrier in Heaven. We are all a part of the body of Christ.

        Mary and the Saints ARE NOT DIVINE.

        I know that Protestants are very disappointed to find out that Catholics DON’T WORSHIP MARY AND DON’T THINK SHE IS DIVINE. But that is the TRUTH.

        Because Christ is Divine He is able to enable Mary and the Saints to pray for all of us. All things are possible with God…No?

      • “Mary and the Saints can only hear our millions of prayers by the power of God… Mary and the Saints are not Divine”

        That is a complete contradiction in terms. If they are not divine, they cannot hear millions of prayers to pray about them. Hence, heaven does not make “saints” or the priesthood of all believers automatically supernatural divine like intercessors upon death. We can just derive assumptions without a biblical basis.

        Please don’t assume the rest of your words against me… it is the Catholic idea that your assuming, not mine. I am merely raising a very simple and logical proposition that is a complete paradox to focusing prayers to ordinary but blessed human beings.

        I believe the cloud of witnesses can at times see and hear what’s going on, however, there is no biblical concept that reveals some humans are greater than others in relation to praying to them. I think they have better things to do than pray 24/7 for millions of roman catholics.

        • ” I think they have better things to do than pray 24/7 for millions of roman catholics.” Thats YOUR assumption. That is exactly what the saints in heaven are doing! Worshiping God and praying for us. We can only worship God when we care for the souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The fact that you cannot understand how God could allow the saints to hear billions of prayers does not negate the possibility. You cannot understand the hypostatic nature of Christ or the eternity of God either. He is incomprehensible to our human minds. That doesnt not negate His existence. But the Catholic ideas that you believe to be assumptions were not just made up The problem is that you reject the Tradition of the Church handed down from the Apostles. Unless you see it in the bible it doesnt exist for you. That is NOT biblical. The bible teaches us that we were to learn the Traditions of the Apostles , written and unwritten.

  3. Sorry, but I am still not making a biblical connection to praying through Mary of the Saints and would like some help. 1Tim 2:5 does not make any mention of praying to someone who is no longer living. I cannot also make a connection between asking someone of the living to pray for me and someone not of the living to pray or intercede on my behalf—that is a scarry proposition when you relate it with Duet 18: 10-14 and you may say that is a stretch, but it talks about not acting as a medium. I just need some direct not abstract scripture to wrap my mind around praying through Saints and Mary. I can easily walk up to someone and ask them to pray for me or others–Jesus often talks about praying for others and asking others to pray for you. But I can’t find anything about communicating with men/women who have gone before us—other than the verse in Duet. with would suggest against it. Thanks and any scripture support you have would be appreciated.

  4. Mike: I am still not making a biblical connection to praying through Mary of the Saints and would like some help.

    BFHU: First, there is no verse that commands us to ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us.
    But, Sola Scriptura is a Protestant tradition not a Catholic one. This tradition of Protestantism has only been in existence for about 500 years and was made up by Martin Luther. It is not found anywhere in Sacred Scripture. If there ever was a tradition of man Sola Scriptura is it. The Catholic Church has never adhered to it or accepted it as authoritative.

    The Catholic Church adheres instead to Scripture and the Teaching of the Apostles (Sacred Tradition). Unlike the Protestant beliefs, for a Catholic, when a Christian dies they are still a part of the Body of Christ with loving care and concern for those of us still in the battle. So they are happy to pray for us.

    Mike: 1Tim 2:5 does not make any mention of praying to someone who is no longer living.

    BFHU: Right.But, it makes no distinction or prohibition against asking the saints who are ALIVE in Heaven to pray for us either.

    MIKE: I cannot also make a connection between asking someone of the living to pray for me and someone not of the living to pray or intercede on my behalf.

    BFHU: The Saints are still LIVING. They are more alive than us. Part of your difficulty is simply b/c you are not used to the idea. But, there is not one scripture against it. Asking Christians to pray for us has been done for 2000 years. And since no scripture forbids it, Protestant objection is ineffective.

    Mike: What about Deut. 18:10-14:

    Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.

    BFHU: The Deuteronomy 18:10-14 passage is talking about DIVINATION. Not intercessory prayer. Note the prohibition against CONSULTING the dead. That is a form of divination. There is no way to make it mean “asking for intercessory prayer”. There is a HUGE difference. You really should take a look at Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary?

  5. BFHU: Mary and the Saints can only hear our millions of prayers by the power of God… Mary and the Saints are not Divine”

    Joseph; That is a complete contradiction in terms. If they are not divine, they cannot hear millions of prayers to pray about them.

    BFHU: Why is it a contradiction???

    BFHU:
    Of course they cannot hear the prayers of us on Earth by their human power. But, with God all things are possible. It is by HIS power of course. So the divine power comes from God, which makes them mere human beings.

    Joseph: Hence, heaven does not make “saints” or the priesthood of all believers automatically supernatural divine like intercessors upon death.

    BFHU: Correct.

    Joseph: We can just derive assumptions without a biblical basis.

    BFHU: I am going to guess that you meant “We can’t just derive assumptions without a biblical basis. And I will ask you “Why not?” The Protestant teaching of sola scriptural or Bible Alone is not scriptural. It is a tradition of men begun 500 years ago by Martin Luther.
    It is amusing that one of Protestantisms most relied upon weapon against the Catholic Church, which is the demand, “Where is that in Scripture?” Is itself not scriptural.

    Joseph; .. I am merely raising a very simple and logical proposition that is a complete paradox to focusing prayers to ordinary but blessed human beings.

    BFHU: What we mean by “Prayers to the Saints” means asking them for intercessory prayer. Protestants believe in intercessory prayer. They are just not used to asking the Saints in Heaven to pray for them.

    Joseph: I believe the cloud of witnesses can at times see and hear what’s going on, however, there is no biblical concept that reveals some humans are greater than others in relation to praying to them. I think they have better things to do than pray 24/7 for millions of roman catholics

    BFHU: Thank you for your opinion but it is merely that. Your opinion. It is not convincing and it is not scriptural
    I am not trying to offend. I just want you to realize that Protestants also believe things that are not scriptural. They seem to give themselves that freedom without a second thought. But, when it comes to anything Catholic they demand SCRIPTURE and if it is not forthcoming they condemn Catholics as heretics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: