Bible Reading: Luke 1:26-38
Fast forward six months. Now the angel Gabriel appears in Nazareth of all places. Think about where you live. What is the worst-looking, most down-trodden city in the whole state. The one you like to drive real fast through. Well, that’s where we are. In the most despised city – not only does the rest of Israel consider it inferior, but so do the Romans. This is where Gabriel finds Mary.
Mary is betrothed / pledged to a local man named Joseph. This is serious – it’s basically a 1 year engagement on steroids. They are not to live under the same roof, nor have sexual relations. It is a time where they “court” / date & get to know each other. Helpful, since most of these marriages were arranged by the parents back then. However, it is so serious that if something does goes wrong and they decide not to marry, it requires a divorce to break the pledge.
So we have Mary, who Gabriel lets know right from the beginning that she is “highly favored.” Do parents have a favorite child? Would they even admit it? Maybe, but it probably changes every 5 minutes. But did you realize that God also has favorites?
What do you think a “favorite” child of God looks like? Does it have anything to do with their looks / their outward appearance? Maybe a pleasing countenance, but I think it probably has more to do with what’s happening inside their heart. How does this person speak, act, & think?
Well, Mary is pleasing to God. She is HIGHLY favored. Well, yeah – she was chosen. She is probably humble, loving, and praises God every chance she gets. She is a precious child who has faithfully tried to follow the Lord’s commandments & regulations. She honors her earthly parents and does what is asked of her.
Now, Mary is a little stupefied at this point. She’s processing this info, along with the shock of seeing an angel. But Gabriel tells her not to be afraid and tells her a second time that she has found favor with God (verse 30).
Then he proceeds to drop the big news on her. You’re so favored God has chosen you to bear His son into this world. This baby will be the “Son of the Most High,” given the throne of David, & will reign over the house of Jacob forever.
Ba-Bam! OK, if this was me, I would be picking my jaw up off the floor, thinking I can barely handle myself, you got the wrong person, it ain’t me Lord, no, no, no, it ain’t me, Lord, the one you’re looking for, Lord. Excuse me while I run away.
Nope. That’s not how Mary acted. She accepted & believed all that was being said. She just didn’t understand how, since she was a virgin and had never been with a man. The angel confirmed this – by saying that nothing is impossible with God, that even Elizabeth in her old age was pregnant.
Notice here that Mary is different from Zechariah. Mary believed what Gabriel was telling her; just questioned the details. She could accept the whole concept of God wanting her to bear a child, but she didn’t require proof. Whereas Zechariah doubted and wanted proof. He was then silenced due to his unbelief.
Most importantly, let us look at how Mary responds in verse 38. She is submissive and willing to do whatever God has asked of her. She is God’s obedient servant.
Are you available to do whatever God asks of you? Would you be as accepting? Are you living a life that is favorable & pleasing to God?
What a privilege & honor to be chosen by God.
Ornament Ideas: Mary
Coloring / Art Ideas:
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