Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Women in the Life of Jesus: Mary the Mother of Jesus

 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.-Matthew 1:16 (NKJV)

Scripture where she is found: Matthew 1-3, Mark 6, Luke 1-2, 8, John 2, 19, & Acts 1

Her story:

Mary was the mother of Jesus and the 5th woman listed in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1.

She is mentioned throughout all four Gospels and in the book of Acts.

I have discussed her before, in John 2, when Jesus changed the water into wine.  You can find that post here.

What I want to share about today can found in Luke 1.

 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  Then the angel said to her, “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. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”
 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
-Luke 1:26-38

My thoughts:

God gives us a lot of detail in this short passage of scripture. This is good, because this is a very important moment in His(story.)

God is the one who sends the angel, His messenger, to Mary.  The angel's name is Gabriel.  He is a male, and he just appears in her home.

The passage also tells us exactly who he goes to, who she was engaged to, and that she is a virgin.  All of these details believers might sometimes take for granted, but I believe God wanted to be very specific in what was included in scripture.  This is the most widely told story-it has been told over and over again for centuries because we celebrate Christmas, which is the celebration of Christ's birth.

Faith comes by hearing.  And so many people have heard this again and again, that they probably have no question that these details are just as God said they were.

When she saw the angel, she doesn't seem to be troubled by him, as much as what he is saying to her.  In fact, she seems to have some spiritual understand already and knowledge of the things of God. She doesn't seem upset by the appearance of the angel himself. She just keeps having a conversation with him.

He tells her not to be afraid. Does that mean of him, or what he is about to tell her?  I think maybe the message.  

He goes on to tell her she has found "favor with God."  What would cause that?  Again, I think she had some knowledge of God.  I think she was familiar with the scriptures, and that coupled with her character, allowed God to trust her.  This was a big deal, to carry the Son of God in her womb.

She then asks the angel another question.  She is a virgin, so she doesn't understand how this can come to pass.  He then explains to her about the Holy Spirit.  

The Holy Spirit was involved in creation in Genesis.  He hovered "over the face of the waters."  Then God started speaking and things came into being.  This is how the Son of God was going to come into the world.

And then in Luke 1:38, we see a greater glimpse of why He chose her.  She says,

Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

And then the angel leaves.

Her character and her knowledge of the things of God are why I believe He chose her.  He could trust her and she was already prepared to handle what was to come, because it was to be no easy task.  I am so thankful for her and for the birth of Jesus.

For further reading about Mary, check out The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs, or this children's biography, Get to Know Mary by Nancy I Sanders.

To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus.

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