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Women in the Lineage of Christ: Mary

CHOSEN


What was it about Mary, a young peasant girl somewhere between the ages of 12-15, that she would be chosen to be the mother of God’s one and only Son, the long-awaited Messiah and Savior of the world? Was it because she was sinless? By no means. She was born of a man. She humbly confessed her need for a Savior in her praise song found at the end of Luke 1. Those who have made that same confession can be blessed and find favor with God in spite of human failures, weaknesses, and sinfulness.


Mary was an ordinary person from a family of humble means, going about her daily tasks in the small village of Nazareth. Her arranged marriage was set in her engagement to Joseph. I would imagine there was a lot of planning going on for their future together.


But sometimes God interrupts our plans, doesn’t He? And this interruption in Mary’s and Joseph’s life was going to be miraculous and remarkable! No longer would she be the young girl living an ordinary life, preparing to become a typical wife and mother. God had a much more significant and extraordinary role for her in bringing His salvation to the world!


When the angel, Gabriel, appeared to her, I like to try to imagine what that moment must have been for her. Can you even imagine it … being greeted by an angel and called “highly favored one” and “blessed are you among women?” Understandably, she was immediately “troubled” by what he said. As shocking as the appearance was, more shocking was the message! “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus” (Luke 1:30,31 NKJV).


Try to put yourself in Mary’s sandals; what would you be thinking? If you were a virgin, you would probably ask the first thing that came into Mary’s mind, “How can this be since I do not know a man” (Luke 1:34, NKJV)?


“[Gabriel] answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, that Holy One who is born will be called the son of God…For with God nothing will be impossible.’” Luke 1:35, 37 (NKJV)


Do you have anything that seems impossible or hopeless going on in your life right now? Take heart in the words of Gabriel. No matter how impossible the situation may seem, no matter how helpless or hopeless we may feel, we should remember this, nothing is impossible with God! God’s power is infinite. Have faith in Him and in His power, no matter what the situation may be!


Mary’s humble response of submission and obedience to God’s will is a beautiful example for us of godly character and faithfulness. “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, NKJV). Mary obviously had been brought up knowing God through Scripture and prophecy, including the one about the coming of the Messiah. What she must have felt with the realization that she, a young girl of low estate from a small town, was the one chosen to bring Messiah into the world!!


It doesn’t matter our station in life! God is able to take anyone who appears insignificant or unimportant and, through His power in them, can use them in ways they cannot imagine. We are never to compare ourselves to others. We are unique creations that can be transformed by the power of God at work in us! God looks at the heart and is always looking for men and women of godly character fully surrendered to Him to use in remarkable and surprising ways! And maybe even miraculous!


Mary exhibited maturity and courage beyond her years. The reality and the gravity of the situation would now be lived out. She knew she would encounter the looks, the whispers, the pointing fingers of being pregnant before she had married. Nevertheless, Mary was willing to accept the ridicule she would encounter. She expressed joy and praise to the Lord! You can read the beautiful Song of Mary, also known as “The Magnificat,” further down in Luke:1:46-55. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior...”


I can recall the excitement and joy when I became pregnant with my first son; and with two more to follow! I was well cared for and had every opportunity to birth a healthy baby boy. We were living overseas at the time, and when “the moment” arrived, my husband and I took off on a bumpy, narrow road a little over an hour from the hospital. We were anxious to get there! That was the longest hour of my life! But what if it took four or five days on a donkey on mountainous, dusty roads to get to where you were going to birth your first child??


How uncomfortable Mary must have been so close to delivery, and how weary and anxious. She and Joseph most likely slept outside for several nights on the 90-mile journey on foot to Bethlehem. Then to have a stable of animals as the birthing room with only her husband to attend and care for her. She was a strong young girl who bore her miraculous calling with great courage.


In the midst of the joy, she had no idea of the hardship and the heartache in years to come that would pierce her soul. She was with her baby boy, Jesus, when he breathed his first breath and would be with her perfect son, God’s Son, when he breathed his last.


Mary is a good example to us of remaining faithful to God no matter the challenges, the circumstances, or the cost; total submission to His will; full trust and obedience to His Word; and courage to live out His plan and purpose for our lives.