In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Mary is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. She is so brave! Notice how when the angel appears to her, she is not terrified the way Biblical characters always are, only perplexed by his words. And how trusting of God she is, believing He can give her a son even though she is a virgin. But most importantly, she is so faithful! When the angel tells her of God’s plan, she doesn’t say “What will people think?”, or “I am too young to raise God’s son”, or “I am too afraid”. She simply says, “let it be with me according to your word.” Wow!
We often think of Mary as a great role-model for women, but really she is a great example for everyone. She is the first example of what Jesus says a true follower of God should be. She is a yes woman. She puts God’s plans ahead of her own. She is willing to risk everything to follow Him! Being pregnant out of wedlock was dangerous to the point of death at that time. She could have been stoned. But no fear ever crosses her lips. She trusts that God knows what He is doing and will take care of her and the baby.
This is how we all should strive to be every single day. We need to stop making excuses and start saying “Yes!” to God’s plan, however scary it may be. We need to stop complaining about how hard everything is and praise God for our blessings (which Mary does later this chapter) instead.
Even now I think to myself, “This would be a whole lot easier if I knew God’s plan for me, but I have no idea what He wants me to do!” Which is, of course, completely stupid. I just finished reading the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and Jesus tells me exactly what do to: Go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). And I need to start saying “yes” to that.