Wednesday 17 December, 2014

Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. 27 He was sent to a virgin. The girl was engaged to a man named Joseph. He came from the family line of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel greeted her and said, “The Lord has given you special favor. He is with you.” 29 Mary was very upset because of his words. She wondered what kind of greeting this could be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you. 31 You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king like his father David of long ago. 33 He will rule forever over his people, who came from Jacob’s family. His kingdom will never end.” 34 “How can this happen?” Mary asked the angel. “I am a virgin.” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is old. And even she is going to have a child. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now. 37 Nothing is impossible with God.” 38 “I serve the Lord,” Mary answered. “May it happen to me just as you said it would.” Then the angel left her.

Mary’s calling

Mary is:

  • Elizabeth’s relative –News of Elizabeth’s miracle would have been an encouragement. God knits people together in his plans.
  • A teenager. Godly. Jewish. She may have heard about the coming Messiah of virgin birth.
  • She’s from a small rural town called Nazareth.
  • She is a virgin and engaged to married to Joseph. This news was not in her life plan.
  • She is highly favoured. And she can’t fathom that her Nazarene young life would be looked at and called favoured.
  • Her responses are a great example of faith.

Mary’s responses:

  1. She was troubled. A calling might be intimidating, but “Do not be afraid.”
  2. She asked “How?” Her question is without unbelief. Zechariah questioned with unbelief and seeking proof. She believes but is after some understanding.
  3. She accepts, receives, trusts. She instantly drops her life plan to accept God’s plan, resulting in a spectacular life, “blessed among women”.

“For no word from God will ever fail.” Lk1:37

I remember that I am favoured too because God has shown me grace – His unmerited favour.

Where am I resisting God’s call and holding onto the ideas and plans I have for my life, instead of surrendering to what He wants for me?

What words has he spoken over me? They will not fail. They will prosper.

I am Your servant. May it be to me according to Your word. Lk 1:38

Written by Lyndall Goulay

2 replies
  1. Richard says:

    Lyndall love your insights.

    This passage has always been one I have loved to read.

    It has captured my heart as I imagine this young girl, probably no more than 15 being confronted by an angel. The angel says of Mary that she is highly favoured of God. Imagine hearing an angel say that to you? How extraordinary to know that God has called you favoured. How wonderful to know that God has been looking in on your life and chosen you.

    And here it is, God is looking in on all of us. There is no indication that Mary was somehow more devout, more holy. She, for all intents and purposes, was simply a young girl growing up in Nazareth minding her business and loving God as any normal Jew girl would. So what if an angel visited you today and called you favoured of God.

    Father may we hear the word of your favour over our lives today afresh.

  2. Justin Ware says:

    Thanks Lyndall for a great application of this passage.

    It has occurred to me in reading this today how much this event would have been completely outside Mary’s framework of experience. Of course there was the the once-in-the-history-of-the-world event of a virgin being told that she will bear the Messiah as a son, but not only this! Even the supernatural event of the appearance of an angel as a messanger from God would have been totally different from what her nation and ancestors had experienced for several generations:

    In reading the Bible in its current form it is easy to jump from Malachi to Matthew and forget about the time frame in between – 400 “silent years” where it is generally understood that there were no great prophets, no significant special revelations of God’s presence and power amongst the people of Israel and no reports of angels appearing and delivering special messages.
    Like people today, I wonder if people in Mary’s time would have said that “we don’t have that sort of relationship with God anymore” or perhaps “those stories of our people aren’t meant to be taken literally”

    For me this is a challenge to do as Mary did- be able to identify when something powerful is actually from God, and then instantly accept and trust that He is good in spite of the challenges that may lie ahead.

    Lord help me to have the heart and attitude of Mary as I seek you and hear from you

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