Let’s set the stage. Picture a non-descript town in the Middle East known for corruption and moral compromise. Now picture a young girl, 12 or 13 years old. She’s engaged to a normal guy going about normal activities on a normal day. And then she receives the strangest news.
She’s going to be a mom.
But this child is anything but normal. He is the promised One, the Savior of mankind.
So why Mary? According to Luke, Mary is a young girl whose character is worthy of our admiration and whose faith is worthy of our imitation.
1. She lived a life of faithfulness and obedience.
Gabriel calls Mary “favored one.” This girl has kept herself pure. She is abiding by the customs of the day. She is clearly walking in God’s ways. And because of all this, she is available and worthy to be the recipient of the Christ-child and a fulfillment of prophecy that Jesus would be born of a virgin – fully God (immaculate conception) and fully man (born of a woman).
2. She responds with trust and humility
Mary’s initial response is different than most. She doesn’t panic, rant, or wonder how it will mess up her plans. In Luke 1:38, Mary says, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” As a pregnant, unmarried woman in the culture, she would be a disgrace to her family, her betrothed, worthy of severe punishment, possibly even death. Yet she demonstrates no fear, only trust. When we trust the character and ways of God, we are able to respond in humble faith that He is bigger and capable of handling any snags that may come our way.
3. She focuses on the faithfulness of God
Mary carried the God of the universe in her womb, yet she didn’t feel the need to brag or elevate her stature or even defend her ways. Instead of focusing on herself, she points back to the faithfulness of God as seen in Luke 1:46-56. In fact, because of her focus on God, those around her stood in awe. Her cousin Elizabeth even said, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:45). When God gives us a platform, our job is to point back to Him and watch others draw near to the God who loves them.
Mary’s life and response pointed to the Lord. May we mirror her example and be conduits of the grace of Christ. May how we live look so different than the world that people look at us and want to better know the Son.