Luke 1:30 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.
Mary must have been one strong lady. First of all, to be visited by an angel and have a conversation. Granted, she did not have the disadvantage of being bombarded with imagery over the media from movies and creative commercials, etc. so she was not influenced by other people’s ideas of good or evil in the way that we are today. She did have, however, the tales that were told for centuries about how the Angel of the Lord visited Abraham, how God spoke to Moses through the burning bush, and how God spoke to Noah with instructions on building the ark. These guys didn’t know each other, but they all had close encounters with God and then had to allow things to develop in the natural world while they remained faithful and obedient. Mary, now, has been told that she is going to become pregnant out of wedlock where it is the law to stone a woman for committing adultery or fornication. And she says, “Let it be to me”.
Personally, this speaks to me the power of the Holy Spirit and His inspiration. It’s one thing to be visited by an angel and told you were chosen for a special job, it’s another to have the stamina to remain faithful while you are waiting to see the fruit of your obedience. Here’s something, Mary hasn’t seen the fruit of her obedience, yet. Oh, she saw lots of miracles and she knows exactly Who Jesus is, but she was told that He would be on David’s throne forever and ever. While I agree, He does reign (hallelujah), here in the natural world, we are still waiting for His return to end this turmoil.
The real strength of Mary and her faithfulness is fueled by her blameless husband Joseph, who by all rights could have and in some people’s opinions, should have, put Mary aside, not marrying her but instead ridiculing her for her obvious infidelity. (Obvious only to those who don’t believe that God can do anything He says he will. Just look at Isaiah 7:14 for confirmation of that). Joseph kept Mary as his wife and she remained a respectable woman and mother. It certainly doesn’t hurt that an angel visited Joseph also, but under the circumstances, I believe it was necessary to protect a baby Jesus from destruction before He had a chance to prove Himself sinless.
Let’s be honest, Mary had the best/worst job of all. Can you even imagine having to discipline the Son of God as a young boy? When He stayed behind in Jerusalem to learn from the teachers in the temple without His parents knowing, you know they had to discipline Him so He would know that He had a responsibility to obey them as well as God. To make things better and worse for her, she had to watch as He performed miracles and then listen to the skeptics accuse Him of sorcery and other ungodly traits. But, best and worst of all, she had to watch Him die on the cross, knowing that what He was doing was for all the people of the world and that He is the ultimate Superman. But no mother wants her Child to be hated or ridiculed. Actually, mothers believe that their children are the best and very little can convince them otherwise. So, how do you think it felt like to be Mary? She knew beyond knowing that her Child really was the best. The only sinless Man ever to walk the earth. The only Hope for all of creation and there He was, being tortured, ridiculed and killed and she could do nothing about it.
I’ve thought of all of this because I often wonder how I would react if I ever faced an angel and had a conversation. More than that, how faithful would I be in obeying any instructions given to me by that angel? Oh, I may be faithful for a year or two, but after a long period of time, unless I saw some real results, how faithful would I truly be? Just thinking aloud, but I think I would like to be more like Mary and just accept it, keeping everything close to my heart and feeding from the strength God provides. It’s not easy and it never will be, although I have to admit, it’s much easier that trying to solve the world’s problems all by myself.