“And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’” Luke 1:28
These were the words spoken by the angel Gabriel to Mary the mother of Jesus. Mary, sweet Mary was a young girl, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter. They appear to be simple people, living a simple life in a simple town. And then an angel appears to Mary and tells her she is the favored one who will carry the son of God!
I wonder about this young woman and what thoughts were going through her mind. Scripture tells us some of the things but I know most women would be like me and our minds race a million miles a minute when there are things that we weren’t expecting put in front of us.
“But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.” Luke 1:29
I think sweet Mary’s mind was a racing. First of all she may not have felt very favored at first at this news. First, how is this going to play out as she has never had relations with a man? Then what will she tell her parents, what will she tell Joseph, what will people think, how will this happen again, will she need to hide away, will Joseph believe this, but wait didn’t the angel say favored one? I just think Mary would be feeling more fear than favor at this point. And the angel addresses that.
“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” Luke 1:30
Mary asks the angel a few logistical questions concerning what is about to happen to her and the angel gives her some reassurances. And then the most remarkable thing about this remarkable woman happens.
“And Mary said, ‘Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
Mary goes from fear to faith in a matter of minutes. Which probably had something to do with why she was the favored one to be the mother of Jesus in the first place. Mary found favor with God because God knew her character before the announcement came that she would be the mother of Jesus. Mary was already known by God in order for him to have found favor with her. God already knew that while she may be afraid she would handle her assignment with grace, peace and submission early on. One thing to note here I think is when Mary was questioning the angel “How can this be?” I don’t think she was questioning him as to IF this would really happen as she was questioning how it would be carried out. As soon as God revealed His plan to her, she submitted to the plan. Was she afraid? Sure she was. Did she want to understand the process? Yes she did, but she believed God and submitted to the plan immediately.
Now I don’t think any of us have to worry about being given a task of this multitude by God. Mary was the highly favored one to carry His son. Salvation has already entered the world through God’s son, so I don’t think there will be another task to match this one. But we can learn a few things from Mary. How many times or in fact do I ever submit to God’s plan as soon as it is revealed to me? When I question God, I am afraid I am not questioning Him about how I carry out His assignment as much as I am questioning if it has to be me? I am afraid I am more like Moses who argued with God about being the one to lead the people out of Egypt than I am like Mary who says ok Lord, I’m your girl just show me how and lead the way. I want to be more like Mary, I truly do. I want to take on whatever God decides to throw my way. I pray that when God looks on me that He finds favor in me. Favor to be the one to carry out his purposes and plans. Favor to complete whatever task He is giving me to do.
May God find favor in us as He found favor in Mary!