Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
What does it mean to doubt and fear God?
Precious Savior, thank you for the details of Mary’s experience that Luke shared with us. In every example where people encounter angels in Your Word, they are startled and afraid, and Mary was no different. The angel abruptly interrupted her daily routine by showing up when she was alone. That would have caused her to pause right there. Then he presented her with the amazing news that she was going to be the mother of the Messiah. I can’t imagine the mixture of fear, wonder, and excitement that was flashing through her mind and heart. She certainly was troubled about the logistics of how Your Spirit was going to make her pregnant. Not only did she accept Gabriel’s explanation that the Spirit would miraculously come upon her but she was reassured with the evidence of Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy. All of this news had to be overwhelming for Mary but she accepted Your will and committed her life as Your servant. Thank you for the example of Mary’s faith. As a modern Christian, I sometimes shutter to do little things in comparison to the commitment required by Mary. Help me to have the servant heart like Mary to do Your will, no matter how uncomfortable, risky, or unpopular that may be. Let my fear of letting You down be greater than my fear of the world. When I assume that the world is the ultimate threat, I give it unwarranted power. But the world’s threats are temporary and Your kingdom is eternal. Let me respond to You in obedience when You ask me to step out in Faith to serve You. I am Your servant. Use me for Your Glory. Amen.