Mary: The Mother of Jesus
Day 1, Week 4 of Beautifully Surrendered, a Love God Greatly Study
Today’s Reading: Luke 1:26-38 (SOAP/Focus 38)
Who was Mary?
Mary was a virgin from Nazareth, a town also known as Galilee. She was engaged to a man by the name of Joseph who was a descendant of David. She was favored by God, chosen to bear the Messiah, God’s only Son. She was guaranteed a healthy, safe delivery, and a “Holy” child – which eased her fears.
The Angel’s Visit:
An angel, named Gabriel, who was sent by God, came to Mary, greeting her as one who was favored and one whom the LORD was with. He encouraged her to not be afraid and asked her to listen to the message he had brought. As if being greeted by an angel wasn’t shocking enough, try learning from the angel that you’re going to have a baby boy – talk about a unique gender reveal! The angel gave her all of the details, even what to name the baby, whose the baby really was, how great the baby would be, and how His future would turn out.
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 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. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” … 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”Luke 1:31-33, 35 NLT
Oddly enough Gabriel even told her about Elizabeth, her cousin, being six months pregnant with a son. Perhaps this is what sparked Mary’s visit to Elizabeth that we read about last week.
We could jump right to verse 38 and see Mary’s ultimate and “beautifully surrendered” response. However, in doing so we would miss some crucial and equally beautiful responses from the minute the angel appeared.
Mary didn’t run from the angel but she received him and entertained his greeting and announcement, which is obvious from Luke’s description that reads: “Mary was greatly troubled by [Gabriel’s] words” and [she] began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting”. When the angel asked her to listen, she obviously did so – because when he was done speaking, she asked Gabriel a question. Mary said to the angel:
“How will this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?”Luke 1:34 NLT
Following Gabriel’s enlightening reply, Mary gives her final response – which is one of beautiful surrender, acknowledging both her awareness of what is happening and her surrender to the LORD who is bringing it about. It’s worth reading again:
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”Luke 1:38
How Then Should We Live?
While we will never receive the message that Mary received from Gabriel, we should always be prepared and willing to hear from God and, like Mary, we should consider what He says. We should not be afraid – remembering that if He’s asking us to do something then He has already prepared us for it. We should live positioned and ready to be used by God. After listening to what He asks of us we should, respectfully, ask any questions we might have and surrender in faithful obedience.
Father, How great and wonderful are Your ways. How amazing and powerful are Your acts. I marvel at Your work to position Mary and to use her in such an unexpected and marvelous way. I stand in awe of her beautiful surrender and pray that I, and those who have read or heard this lesson, might always be prepared and never turn away from what You call us to do. – In His name and strength and for Your glory – Amen!
So, what’s your take-away from today’s passage?
What does Mary’s response teach us about her?
How would you have responded if you had been in her shoes?
Want More Insight?
Read today’s Love God Greatly Blog Post