The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!d

29Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He 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. 33And he will reign over Israele forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35The 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. 36What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.f

38Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

We are not going to  discuss all the things said about Jesus, Joseph being of the Davidic line, Mary fulfilling where Eve fell, and a host of other information.  Not that it isn’t important, it’s just that this short story hold a life altering message.

Gabriel makes another announcement trip, but this one goes just a little different. Mary reacts so differently than Zechariah. She is likely between 13 and 16 at this time, which makes this even more remarkable. She is confused and disturbed, but no nearly as afraid and shaken as Zechariah. She asks questions of Gabriel, but the questions are not doubting the possibility of God’s word happening, but how it will happen. We ask “how” when we get past “if”. Mary shows amazing faith, as she does throughout her life.

We often miss how faithful she is being. At this time adultery was punishable by death. If that didn’t occur divorce usually did which left the adulterating woman without a provider in a world that was very harsh to women. If Mary views the situation from her room where Gabriel is at the moment, it is very bleak. It is only when she views it from the “presence of God” where Gabriel came from that she can say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”

We also cannot skip over Mary’s servitude. She didn’t just want to serve the Lord. She didn’t just accept that she must serve the Lord. No, Mary recognized that she was the Lord’s servant. It was who and what made up her being, her existence. “I am the Lord’s servant”. 

Lord, give me the courage to respond to your call on my life with the faith of someone who is in your presence and has truly become your servant.

Be pure, and you will be near.