“…God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” – Luke 1:26-28)
Mary must have been a very special young woman. Mary was the one who was chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ, God’s own Son. She could not have been just anybody. Who was Mary?
Mary had full faith and confidence in God’s guidance over her life, even when circumstances seemed unbelievable. Mary can teach us a lot about faith and humility. The couple was betrothed which meant that Mary, legally, was already Joseph’s wife although the couple could not be together until after the marriage.
Mary was facing a whirlwind of preparation. There would be exchanging of gifts by the family and the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony. She would move in with the groom’s family and she and Joseph would begin their life together.
And then in the midst of all that, a supernatural moment would shatter any normality that existed before. An angel stood before her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” She was probably both confused and afraid, so the angel assured her there was no reason to fear. He had wonderful news for Mary and for all of us. “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:31-33)
It most likely took a few moments for all this to sink in. Mary began thinking of the practical elements rather than the eternal ones. She wanted to know how it was that a virgin could become pregnant. The Angel explained to her that the Holy Spirit would miraculously bring forth a Child from her, and this Child would be the Son of God.
Can you imagine hearing that if you were in Mary’s place? Could you imagine the changes that were about to occur in her life? Thoughts of marriage instantly morphed into thoughts of motherhood. And thoughts of the life she was expecting changed into being part of a miracle from heaven. And the news was brought to her by the angel Gabriel.
Why did God choose Mary? After the shock of this surprising news, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.” ( Luke 1:38 TLB) When God called her to an assignment that was beyond her comprehension, she replied with obedience Mary had faith in God and trusted Him to work things out even though she did not have all of the information.
Would we have the same response?
- What progression do you see in Mary’s responses in (Luke 1:29, 34, 38)? How does Gabriel answer her question about how this could happen (v. 35-37)?
- Have you ever experienced going from confusion to questioning to faith? What was the situation?