Christians are the offspring of Mary

I am now reading Revelation during my admittedly sporadic devotions. I just completed Rev 12 which is the famous nativity passage in Revelation. It is a touching if confusing narrative including things both in heaven and earth. The thing that got my attention though is how it speaks about the mother of Messiah (her name is not mentioned anywhere in the chapter).

12:17: "Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."

This surprised me!


Justin Long said…
I had always taken the woman to be God's people - e.g. Israel/the Church - not Mary in specific.
FrGregACCA said…
Well,let's look at this: Mary is the Mother of Christ. As Christians, we are "members of Christ" in His mystical body. Therefore, yes, she is our mother as well. This was recognized by the Second Vatican Council of the RCC which called her "the mother of the Church". This is also pretty analogous to her being "Theotokos" or "God-bearer" or "Mother of God" in that Christ is God (as defined at Ephesus, the third and last Ecumenical Council of the undivided Church, AD 431).
Justin Long said…
I could generally agree with that (in the same sense that we refer to being children of Abraham...) but I still think the "woman" in Revelation is a reference to the church or to the people of God, not to Mary in specific.
Lvka said…
It's both things, Justin, because the persecution of Mary and her new-born child Jesus by Herod was a type of the persecution of the Church and her new-born Christians (baptism being the new birth).
I look at Chapter 12 as the nativity of Jesus. The woman being Mary; the mother of the Church. I suspect the two signs in heaven are the different astronomical signs that the prophets, wise men, peter, and herod spoke about. The dragon ready to devour the young was the slaughter of the innocents in search of Christ. The woman fled into the wilderness was probably representative of Egypt for the "reverse" exodus of Mary,Joseph and Son.
Abu Daoud said…
Justin: I thought about that but the Church giving birth to Jesus doesn't quite work for me. I could see the woman perhaps being Israel though. But on the whole, I think the strongest theory is indeed the woman being Mary.

Irenaeus, what do you do with the child being snatched up to the throne while the woman goes (alone?) into the wilderness?
Justin Long said…
Hmmmm. But then if woman = Mary, dragon = Satan, baby = Jesus, it's interesting that there is no mention of the crucifixion in this brief retelling of Jesus--just his birth. And what to do with the 1,260 days? What's that all about?
Mary, Joseph, and Son were in exile for probably that number of days (1260) if you include the travel. I dont believe the text implies she was alone. The part about the child being taken up to God does not mean physically in my mind. I think it is just affirming the singular nature of God. Remember what Jesus said to the good thief. That very day(before the resurection) he would be with Him in paradise.

I think the wise men and paul both understood the stars that foretold the birth of the messiah. Aside from the theological importance of the writing, the constellation Virgo(Virgin) rising through the sky with the sun and moon at her feet was an actual event that has happened several times in the past (astronomically from a middle eastern vantage point).
sorry, meant singular essence...i get mixed up between nature and essence.... uggh

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