To me, there is nothing more enjoyable at Christmas than reveling over the birth of Jesus, our Savior and King! It seems every year, something more profound reveals what was unnoticed to me before. It was a few years ago that Mary made center stage. It wasn’t so much as her being chosen or what she did but in what she said that caused me to look at Mary and life a bit more differently.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold: Luke 1:26-56 (NIV)
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (bold and italics added by me)
Mary, a virgin, engaged to Joseph, visited by Gabriel, an angel of God, was told she would become pregnant and carry the Son of God! Her only question was “How will this be since I am a virgin?” We see countless times in the Bible where people doubted what they were being told or laughed what was prophesied over them away. We see this with Zachariah. (Luke 1:5-24) He doubted what he was told because of his and his wife’s old age. Because he doubted, he was made unable to speak until the birth of his child, John the Baptist. We see where Abraham was told that Sarah would have a child in her old age. Sarah overhearing the conversation, laughed in disbelief, all to aware of the circumstances of her age surrounding her. When Gabriel addressed Abraham as to why Sarah laughed, she lied because she was scared and said she didn’t laugh. (Genesis 18:1-15)
Mary after being told this great news, asked only one question. She did not scoff in disbelief and she was totally aware of the circumstance that would come with such a great calling. Joseph could decide not to marry her, she could be labeled and shamed among her people and yet she said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” So simple a statement, yet so profound!
Many times in life, I have questioned or scoffed in disbelief what I was told because I couldn’t see past my circumstances. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe, it was more so the circumstances became an earthly truth overshadowing the bigger picture, the larger truth. Mary believed what she was told and trusted the One who chose her. The Bible doesn’t say she was filled with worry, emotionally distraught or took matters into her own hand. She didn’t lie to Joseph or rush her marriage to be pleasing in the eyes of man. She simply accepted and obeyed. Oh how things would be so different if, like Mary, we trusted who God says He is and not what our circumstances tell us.