Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, is the most well known woman of the Bible. She is, perhaps, the best-known woman in the world. Since the birth of Christ, parents all over the world consistently honor her by naming their daughters after her. Yet, she was only a humble, insignificant peasant girl from a small, insignificant town. Nazareth was so insignificant that the (future) apostle Nathaniel asked "Is there any thing good that can come of Nazareth?” when told that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. John 1:46.
Yet this young woman was chosen by God to be mother to His own Son, the Savior of the world. How did she come to be chosen? What special character traits did Mary possess that qualified her for such an important position? We are given clues to Mary’s character in the few Bible verses that concern her.
We first meet Mary when the angel Gabriel is sent to Nazareth to speak to her, a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. Gabriel tells Mary that God has ordained that she will give birth to a son and is to give him the name Jesus. Gabriel told her that this child would be very great and would be called the Son of the Most High God. “And the Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel and His Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:32,33
When asked how this could be, the angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the child born to you will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
All of this was foretold by the prophets Isaiah and Micah some 700 years before. Isaiah prophesied that God would choose a virgin and she would conceive and give birth to a son. That son would be called Immanuel which means “God is with us.”
It must have been very hard for her to believe that these words were meant for her. Mary’s answer shows a profound belief and trust in God’s power. It shows her willingness to obey, even though the cost would be very great. Being pregnant before she was married would not only destroy her expectations of marriage but would expose her to public disgrace and possible death by stoning according to Jewish law. However, Mary confirmed her acceptance of her role in God’s plan. She wholeheartedly believed in what Gabriel told her.
She responded, “ I am the Lord’s servant, and I will accept whatever He asks. May what you have said come true. ” Having given his message and received Mary’s confirmation, Gabriel left her. Luke 1:38
Moses, Isaiah and Micah had written about the Messiah. Mary was undoubtedly familiar with and believed the teachings of these Old Testament prophets. Mary’s Song in Luke 1:46-55 shows this. I believe that this knowledge equipped her with the faith needed to accept God’s will for her.
What is it that we learn from Mary mother of Jesus? She had the knowledge of God’s promises and she believed in them. We need that knowledge and that kind of faith to answer God’s call. He may ask us to step out of our comfort zone. He may ask us to risk everything. When the call comes, what will our answer be?
Start now to familiarize yourself with God’s word because sometime, the opportunity will arise for you to take part in His plan. At that moment, will you have the faith to say, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I will accept whatever He asks.”
Teach the children in your life about the birth of Christ. These are great reading anytime. Books
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