And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to 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.” (ESV)
After several hundred years of silence, with Isaiah long in the presence of God, God spoke once again of the way forward. He announced the arrival of the long-awaited King!
We know the story of Mary, and how as a teenage virgin she became the mother of the Son of God. It’s an amazing story yet one that has become commonplace, especially in the advent season. So, take a moment and meditate on Mary’s experience of hearing the announcement from God and reclaim some of the amazement at God and His ways.
Mary was a mere 14 years old by most accounts. She was espoused (similar to our modern-day engagement period) to a godly man named Joseph. She expected to marry, have children, and live a quiet life in her village of Nazareth.
Yet, God looked upon her with grace, determined to include her in His plan to rescue the world. He sent to Mary the angel Gabriel, the same Gabriel who appeared to Zechariah months ago and hundreds of years earlier to the prophet Daniel. Gabriel announced the amazing news that God was sending His Son into the world. Who would this child be?
Gabriel announced 5 things about God’s Son, whom he said must be named Jesus:
- He will be great
- He will be called the Son of the Most High
- The Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David
- He will reign over the house of Jacob forever
- Of his kingdom there will be no end
Any one of these is worth meditating on and marveling over. Think of how Mary felt hearing all this! Any one of these statements was enough to blow her away, but one after another she learns that the son to be in her womb would be like none other. No one would compare to His greatness. No one would be His equal, for He is the Son of the Most High. He will come from the line of Israel’s greatest king, but He will far exceed even King David. He would rule over Israel forever, and His kingdom would never end! Amazing news! News Israel had waited thousands of years to hear.
Most instructive for us is Mary’s response to this news. “I am your servant. Let it be to me according to your word.”
We’ve discussed this week the way of the Lord – His plan to save the lost, and to usher in paradise. The way and the plan is Jesus. May we say with humble Mary, “Yes, Lord, I accept your way. I yield to your terms of Lordship over my life. Use me in your Kingdom however you see fit.”