The One Who Believed
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14 NIV
This prophecy was made 700 years before Jesus was born. Growing up in a Jewish home, Mary would likely have heard this prophecy from Isaiah many times. So she must have been in awe when the angel showed up and said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:30-33 NIV
Mary may have recognized the magnitude of the path God had ordained for her. I would have had pages full of questions to ask, but Mary, in her faith and trust, had one simple question. After this, she humbly replied,
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Luke 1:38 ESV
Mary simply believed!
Now, I am sure she had other thoughts running through her head at the time. How could she not? But at the end of the day, she trusted in the LORD, Yahweh, her God, that what He said would come to pass. I think about the state of her heart and what it had to have been for her to be so open and humble that the God of the universe chose her to bear His son? This causes me to look in the mirror and ask the same of myself. Is my heart just as open to being used by God? Would I be just as willing to lay down my ideas and plans for my life to allow for His plan? These prophecies were as much for me as they were for her. The Scriptures, as we know them, were spoken to us as much as they were spoken to those who lived in the time in which they were written.
When Jesus addresses his disciples, he often told them they would be doing great things: healing the sick, boldly sharing the gospel, feeding the hungry, taking care of the poor and so much more. He is asking the same of us as he did them and as God did Mary: to love Him more than we love this world, more than we love ourselves, to give generously of our time and money, and even give of our physical bodies as Mary did. It was a sacrifice for her to physically carry the son of God knowing that His purpose was so much greater than simply being her son.
It was only because of this faith, this strong belief, that Mary could have said to the angel, “… let it be to me according to your word.” So when I read through the words that Mary proclaimed after finding out she was with child, I am humbled by her understanding of who God truly is and what He does for us.
“And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Luke 1:46-55 NIV
Perhaps without fully realizing it, Mary provided an amazing description of what the child within her would be and do on Earth. In a way, she had given her own prophecy that she would live to see fulfilled. Mary was able to be with and walk alongside Jesus throughout His ministry on Earth. She was present for the first signs through which he revealed himself, turning water into wine, and I am sure she saw so much more. How amazing that must have been. She was truly blessed!
After considering Mary and now looking into the mirror again, can you declare, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word”? If you were to write an exhortation about and to the LORD, what would it say? Would you be The One Who Believed?
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”
Matthew 1:21 NIV