Accepting God’s Promise

KEY VERSE: “Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the LORD; be it unto me according to thy word.” —Luke 1:38


THE message which the angel delivered to Mary preceded the beginning of its fulfillment in her life. The angel explained to her what the Lord desired to have accomplished and how it would be carried out. She would conceive in a miraculous way through the intervening power of the Holy Spirit, and bring forth a son and call his name Jesus. He indicated that this child would be the long-awaited Messiah who would occupy the throne of his father, David.

How Mary’s mind must have reeled at the thought of this—that the time had at last come for the Messiah. And how of all the many generations of Jewish women, and the thousands then living in Israel, she had been selected for this great honor of bringing him into the world. “Blessed art thou among women,” the angel had said. The Prophet Isaiah had written: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa. 7:14) She was that virgin. The thought flashed through her mind, as she later told her cousin, Elisabeth, how the Lord had regarded her, one of “low estate,” to become known to the world and henceforth all generations would call her “blessed.”—Luke 1:48

Then, too, she must consider Joseph, to whom she was espoused. This would be difficult for him. Many of her family, friends, and people generally, no doubt, would be critical of her situation. But she quickly dismissed these thoughts. Would not the great God who could perform wonderful miracles adequately handle all such problems! The angel assured her that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” (vs. 37) Finally, Mary, realizing that the angel was waiting for her word of consent, said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her.

In the manner described by the angel, Mary became the mother of Jesus, who was the Son of God. By this arrangement the Logos, or Word of God (John 1:14), as Jesus was known in his prehuman life, became flesh and dwelt among men; and as a perfect man he died a ransom for Adam and all the race of mankind. Mary did not become the mother of God, as is generally supposed. While at the time Mary did not fully understand all that was involved, she did recognize that it was God who was acting to bring deliverance to his people, and so she said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”—vss. 46,47

As the great Author of the plan of salvation, it is very proper to think of God as a savior. Through Jesus he has provided salvation for the entire human race. But God himself did not come to earth and die on the cross. It was his beloved Son, Jesus, who was made flesh for the suffering of death. (Heb. 2:9) It was by the grace of God that Jesus tasted death for every man. Since he was God’s representative on the earth, it was appropriate that the name Immanuel (meaning ‘God with us’) be given to him.

Very little is mentioned about Mary in the Gospel accounts, and the few references that are given reveal that she was not considered by Jesus and the disciples as a person to be venerated. She was merely a woman among women, and was given no special honor above that enjoyed by all other disciples.

On the occasion recorded in Mark 3:31-35, where his mother and others of his family interrupted his teaching activities, it seems that Jesus purposely made himself aloof. In this incident the Master makes it very emphatic that earthly relationships did not count as much with him as did those which pertained to the Spirit—that those who did God’s will were his real brothers and sisters, and even closer to him than his natural mother.

Thus the fact is clearly established that being the mother of Jesus did not place Mary in any special position of veneration in the divine arrangement. She would need to become his disciple and do God’s will in order to be favored equally with his other followers. That she was a noble woman, there is no question; and one of the most outstanding traits of her nobility was her desire to honor and magnify the Lord, and to ever recognize her own lowly position as one of his servants.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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