(Reading Luke 1)
The Bible shows unbelief as a terrible affront to God, especially where His Dear Son is the issue. So Mary merited an explanation denied to Zacharias and was struck with no rod of correcting silence.
“Here is your ‘how,'” said the angel. “Then the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you (like a shining cloud); and the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35 Amplified).
Nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment (Luke 1:37 Amplified).
Gabriel delighted to give this childlike woman great and wondrous detail. Specifics of God’s plan are opened to the one who believes the plan in acceptance with no suspicion. And her response was exquisite belief, a simple faith with absolute agreement: “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said.”
Mary was the servant of the Lord, His slave. Surrender was not new to her. She was innocent but not ignorant. Though she was young and a virgin, Mary was not untried, nor unfamiliar with deep surrender to the God of her ancestors. She simply proceeded now to another level of submission to One she already knew as…Master, Lord.
“And the angel left her.” The Holy Spirit notes this. Gabriel could leave her as his task was complete. Her receptive bow, her receiving faith enabled him to completely unload his message and he was thwarted in nothing by her. He left…because he was finished.
Elizabeth would affirm Mary’s experience and faith. Without prior knowledge of Mary’s divine transaction, and with no insight apart from the Spirit’s revelation and the joy of the baby in her own womb, Elizabeth burst forth with admiration for this amazing young woman.
“Blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.”
Elizabeth was witness of her husband’s mute punishment for unbelief in God’s message. She was carrier of that miracle, the living confirmation of the angelic pledge. She could be filled with wonder at one who would believe such fantastic ideas, such unheard-of things! Mary, responding to such affirmation of her faith, burst forth with those ever-deep musings of her heart. And in this her song, she reveals her relationship – not just one of service and obedience, but intimate knowledge of this Sovereign God, personal acquaintance with His ways, His character, His values.
Mary worshiped with all her being, body soul and spirit… “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Oh how profound her words! She worships with her soul, her mind and emotions, her will. She worships with her spirit, rejoicing in what? Her Savior! Only David (aside from Isaiah and Jeremiah, once), her ancestor, called Him Savior.
Mary’s humility is exposed by her exuberant psalm of praise: “He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.” How did this simple maiden clearly understand the long and wide implications of her mission?
“For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
He has given help to Israel His servant,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Luke 1:49-55 NASB
Only the humble can recognize pride and understand God’s sure opposition to it, proven by life’s happenings.
Copyright © 2002 Martha Kilpatrick