Dear Christian Sisters,
We left off with Mary asking the angel Gabriel how she would conceive while being a virgin.
When Dr. Bill Creasy teaches on this passage, he chuckles and says that Gabriel blushes as he answers Mary:
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”
Trusting God’s Plan
If I were Mary, I would think that this is all still very puzzling. But then I think about how puzzling God’s plans seem to me every day.
I mean, He has used women like Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba to accomplish His plan, so certainly His plans will be accomplished.
I just need to trust that God can do anything (Ephesians 3:20).
Confirming God’s Promises
“And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
All the relatives knew that Elizabeth was barren, so Mary would understand how miraculous it is that Elizabeth is now pregnant! So through the angel Gabriel telling Mary about Elizabeth, God gives Mary a way to confirm His promises.
Mary takes all this in. She will get pregnant if she says, “yes.” The angel confirmed that.
Considering Societal Consequences of Saying “Yes” to God
But if Mary gets pregnant before she’s married, Jewish Law says that she should be stoned to death.
“If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”
Mary must have reasoned that the Lord would not have her stoned otherwise the Messiah would not be born.
But would people believe her when she claimed to be pregnant with the Messiah? What would her parents say? What would her betrothed Joseph say?
She had a decision to make. Will she say, “Yes”?
Dr. Creasy says that all the angels were holding their breath in anticipation.
And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
And all the angels sighed in relief and high fived each other! Mary was the first person to say, “Yes” to Jesus.
Would You Have Said, “Yes”?
Would you have said, “yes”?
Perhaps you would be excited to carry the Messiah. I’m sure Mary was!
What Would Your Parents Say?
But think about what you know about the rest of the story. Do we ever hear anything about Mary’s parents?
No, we don’t. Mary doesn’t say anything about her parents’ reaction to her news. Perhaps rather than telling how negatively her parents responded, she chose to honor her mother and her father by saying nothing.
What Would Your Fiancé Say?
Think about what you know about Joseph’s reaction. He was going to divorce her quietly, so evidently he didn’t believe her, either.
Mary’s parents don’t believe her. Her fiancé doesn’t believe her. And we find out 30-some years later that the people who lived in Nazareth didn’t believe her, either.
What Would Society Say?
In John 8, after He saves the adulterous woman from stoning, Jesus continues to have a conversation with non-believers. In that conversation, they said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God” (verse 41 ESV), which is their way of accusing Mary of fornication.
What Would You say?
So, again, I ask you what you would have done? You’re in your teens. You’re a virgin. You would be facing a society that stones women to death for being pregnant out of wedlock. The Lord asked you to give birth to the Messiah. Would you have said, “yes”?
Would you have been #bravelikeMary?