Mary reading: Luke 1:26-38
We meet the mother of Jesus; Mary. She is blown away by the message she receives from God. “Greetings you who are highly favored” (verse 28a).
For those of you who may have been following along with the Jesse Tree I put a link to in the beginning of this journey, I’m changing things up. In the link, today would have been reading related to John the Baptist’s ministry when he was older. That story comes MUCH later in time than Jesus’ birth. So I removed that one and bumped Mary’s story up a day. I put John back in but much earlier in his life. Tomorrow we will see when John is filled with the Spirit before birth. Hope no one is offended by this change, but if you are feel free to break away until we return to the schedule in a couple of days. For now, back to our story.
Mary is a young woman who has spent her life following the Lord. I will NOT say she was perfect for NONE of us is. ALL have sinned and fallen short. But even with her ‘shortcomings’ she was going to receive the GREATEST GIFT God had to give. She would be the mother of our Savior.
I often wonder what it was about different people in the bible that had God choose to use them. None so much as Mary. What was it about her life that held God’s attention? Part of it was her heritage. Jesus was to come from the line of Judah, through the family of David. Mary and her husband both fit this requirement. Joseph ‘legitimized’ Jesus’ heritage in the eyes of the nation but Mary fulfilled the prophecy in the physical realm. As Jesus had no flesh and blood father to draw his roots from, His mother had to provide them. But there were probably many young woman who met this requirement of lineage. And they were not chosen.
God doesn’t tell us why He chose Mary but we can see from her reaction that she chose Him above all else. She questioned the “how” when the angel Gabriel told her of her role but never voiced even one objection to being chosen. She didn’t tell Gabriel that she had other plans for her life. She didn’t complain about how it would ‘look’ to others when she began to show evidence of being pregnant. She didn’t even ask Gabriel to talk to her husband or parents and explain it to them. She simply opened her heart and life to the Lord.
Was THAT what set her apart? She gave up the direction of her life to her Lord. Her original plans were for marriage and family. She was already promised to Joseph and her plans included faithfulness to him. He was NOT a spur of the moment choice for her to make her Child’s birth seem legitimate to the masses.
Mary laid her plans aside when Gabriel made his request. She could have said ‘no’ but she didn’t. She put her life in God’s hands instead. I’ve NO doubt that she had learned to trust Him in her life already. And her saying ‘yes’ meant she was trusting Him with her future and her very life.
I wonder if the possible repercussions of her decision even entered into her mind when facing Gabriel. Did she think about how to explain this to her family? Did she consider the possibility of being a ‘single parent’? Did she wonder what Joseph’s reaction would be? Or did God set all these fears to rest in her before they even got started?
Imagine knowing with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that what you were doing was God’s will. Her whole life wouldn’t be that way but for this day she KNEW God had called her for a special purpose.
I would love to have that certainty in my decisions. I suppose the one decision that I do have that ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY in is my decision to follow Him. I’ll take it!
Father God, than You for looking beyond what men see. Mary was just an ordinary girl but You chose to give her an extraordinary gift; Your Son. Thank You for giving me that same gift. Not in the same ‘wrapping’ but with the same promise. Let me treasure that in my heart ALWAYS!