The Birth of Jesus Foretold

The familiar story read mostly during the Christmas season: Luke 1:26-38

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One Reply to “The Birth of Jesus Foretold”

  1. Here we have another encounter with Gabriel, but the question Mary asks is a significantly different. Compare the two:

    • Zechariah
      • “But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.'” (Luke 1:13)
      • Zechariah’s response: “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18)
    • Mary
      • “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.'” (Luke 1:30)
      • Mary’s response: “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)

    Zechariah is not sure and needs proof, not a crazy question, but it comes from a position of denial in the message from the angel. Mary’s response is “how will this come to pass?” (looking a the Greek), a phrase that suggests this will happen, but I don’t understand how. There’s no hint of doubt in her response. Zechariah wants proof, Mary is trying to understand how.

    The angel continues with some details that completely separate Christians from the rest of the world: “The Holy Spirit will come on you” (Luke 1:35), something unheard of, an answer that defies logic or experience or anything she would have been taught or even heard about.  Mary’s infamous response: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38).

    Mind blown. How many times have I questioned God? When I look at these two responses side-by-side, I’m convicted with knowing that I have more often responded like Zechariah than Mary. Who am I to question God? Forgive me Lord for the many times I have asked you to prove yourself to me, the times I’ve hesitated instead of moved in the direction you have planned for me for your kingdom. May my response always be from a position of complete confidence that you will do what you said, even if I don’t understand how it will happen.

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