In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon 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. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Can you even imagine what that moment must have been like for Mary? Here she was, this young peasant woman, being approached by an angel. She must have been wondering what on earth was about to happen in her life that the Lord felt she needed an angel to walk her through it. The angel, sensing that, was quick to quiet those fears and reassure her that she had found favor with God.
And then he went on to tell her that although she was a virgin, was going to give birth to the Son of God. The SON OF GOD! Seriously, can you imagine???
The fact that God chose Mary tells us what a remarkable person she was. We can see by her response why God chose her. Even though she was stunned, and probably a little self-conscious to have such a conversation with an angel, when she asked the question, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?", it wasn't the message from God she was questioning. She was just wondering how on earth this was going to happen, since she was a virgin?
I am always impressed and challenged by Mary's response to this news. "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. She didn't try to convince the angel why this would be a bad idea. Rumors would be circulating once the news became public. Her reputation was going to be ruined. She would be ridiculed. She could even be stoned for getting pregnant while engaged to someone else. And yet, her response was one of total willingness to do whatever God called her to do.
She would tell about the visit from the angel, but who in their right mind would believe such a story? Her parents? Joseph? Her in-laws? The Rabbi? It wouldn't matter to Mary if no one believed her. That would not stop her from believing. She was willing to take whatever came her way as a result of believing God. Even if it cost her everything, including the man she loved, she would be obedient. What a courageous faith she had.
I wish I could say that I have always responded just like Mary did. But, the truth is, there have been times have tried to reason with God before I obeyed Him. But as I've gotten older, I realize that everything God does in my life is good. And I've learned that obeying Him immediately and completely is always the best choice to make. I pray to have a heart like Mary's. A heart that never questions God's plans for my life, a heart that immediately and completely obeys His every call.