Follow Mary’s Example

Mary was probably just a teenager of 15 or 16 when the angel Gabriel appeared to her announcing that she was to give birth to Jesus, “the Son of the Most High.” Mary asked the angel the question that would have been on all of our minds, “How will this be since I am a virgin?”

Gabriel explained that the Holy Spirit would enable her to conceive by God’s great power. And as if a virgin birth weren’t amazing enough, the angel added, “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

At this simple explanation, Mary did a remarkable thing. She simply said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” That’s it. No arguing, complaining, or excuses, just simple submission.

But what about the misunderstandings and ridicule she was sure to experience? If your 16 year old daughter came home and told you she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, what would you do? Even her betrothal to Joseph was now at risk. Not to mention the fact, that she ran the risk of being convicted of adultery, a crime punishable by death in those days.

But Mary humbly and full of faith merely said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Playing this scenario through in our day and age leaves many questions unanswered. Would the boy grow up with the whole community thinking he was a bastard child? What about Joseph’s reputation? Would he be suspected as the obvious father of this child conceived out of wedlock? What about all the emotional stresses and strains—both real and imagined?

Yet Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Chances are that whatever God is asking you and me to do for Him right now doesn’t even come close to what He asked of Mary. Therefore, may we follow her example, and respond humbly and with faith, “Lord, we are your servants. May your word to us be fulfilled!”[1]

©2015 Rob Fischer

[1] See Luke 1:26-38.