The Willingness To Simply Believe
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’ ” Luke 1:26-28
Mary, like Zacharias, also enters the story through a visitation from the angel Gabriel. Mary is a virgin betrothed to Joseph, a descendant of the house of David. It is interesting however that Gabriel’s first words to Zacharias were “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard,” [Luke 1:13] but his first words to Mary, are “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.”
Ok, so here is Mary, in her house, maybe preparing a meal for the day or cleaning the house or maybe planning her wedding to Joseph or maybe she’ s doing all three. Women are so good at multitasking. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she hears a voice greeting her with this most extraordinary declaration.
Her response was two-fold, she was troubled by what she heard but she was also considering what it could mean. So, Gabriel says to her as he did to Zacharias, “Do not be afraid, Mary….”
On the one hand, Zacharias was made assured that his prayer had been heard, on the other hand, Mary was told she had found favor with God.
Think about this for a moment Zacharias was a man of God who is described as “… righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” Luke 1:6 He was faithfully serving in his office of ministry and praying for a son.
By contrast Mary held no particular office of ministry. She was a woman and therefore, was not allowed to serve in the office of a priest. She was a young girl with dreams of marrying her betrothed and living happily ever after, or so the fairytales go. She was not by all accounts praying to be the mother of the Messiah or praying in particular for anything at the moment the angel appeared to her.
Nevertheless, the routine of her life is suddenly interrupted with a supernatural angelic visitation that turns her entire world on its head.
Get happy and celebrate, Mary, the Lord is with you and you are uniquely blessed among women!! Don’t be afraid. You are about to become the mother of the Messiah of Israel and you shall name Him Jesus.
And here is where the story is most fascinating. Mary doesn’t ask the angel who he is or what he is doing there. She didn’t say, show me some ID so I can be sure you are official. She simple accepts the fact that the angel is telling her the truth, but she has no idea how it can happen since she is a virgin. Mary doesn’t question from the point of doubt. She accepts that something is about to happen to her but she doesn’t know what or how.
She recognizes the limit of her human understanding so she yields herself to the wisdom of the angel whatever it is. She asks, how shall this happen?
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
This will be a super natural act of God. And before Mary can entertain a moment’s doubt the angel tells her about her relative Elizabeth who was barren and is now in the sixth month of her pregnancy. How?
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
Then this response seals the heart of Mary to the destiny for which her life was intended.
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
“Be it unto me according to your word.”
This is the response God desires to hear from all of us all the time.
This is the central message of Christmas, that Christ be incarnate in the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, children and adults everywhere.
When we hear the promises of God for us in His Word, may our response be as immediate and as welcoming as the response of Mary.
Be it unto me, Lord according to your WORD.
Read the blessings of the Covenant to Abraham and his descendants; of whom we are because we are Christ’s.
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29
And as you read respond to each of them with these words from your heart.
“Be it unto me according to your word.”