Today’s Bible verse (off to the right of your screen) comes from the book of Luke. Luke goes into great detail of the background of Jesus’ birth. I have read the Christmas story many, many, many times, and maybe you have too. But…I believe I have skimmed over the details and really haven’t pondered what this Luke 1:30-33 passage is really saying. I found pastor and author, Jack Hayford’s thoughts on this very passage…he calls it The Mary Miracle.
Before I go any further though, I want to stress the Mary was a humble servant of God, who gave birth to our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer…Jesus Christ. He alone must be the one to be praised and worshipped. The Bible is very clear on that. I write this today to give perspective of how God worked through Mary to bring the Savior to the world…and to us.
Luke 1:30-33: But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name 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 the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.
Through previous Bible study, I have learned that Mary was probably close to fifteen years old when the angel appeared to her and told her she was going to “be with child” and “give birth to a son.” Mary was a virgin, pledged to marry Joseph. What I also have learned, when one was “pledged” to another to be married, it’s like an engagement period, where the couple would continue to abstain from sexual relations until they were married.
Can you imagine being fifteen years old, being a virgin and having an angel come to you to tell you such a thing? Our daughter is almost fifteen, and as a parent, I can’t imagine my child conceiving a child of her own at this age!
Here’s what Jack Hayford says, ” We need to think about the word virgin in view of the physical miracle that God performed. The Word became flesh. A virgin conceived! Miraculously, the seed of God entered the womb of a woman who had never been in a sexual relationship with a man. Life was born in the dark pocket of her womb, which was still sealed off by her virginity. Light and life entered, and the darkness began to breathe with life.”
“We tend to think of virginity only in terms of innocence and purity. Of course those terms are appropriate, but Mary’s virginity did not provide an earned holiness to which God might respond with a miracle. If we think the Mary Miracle can only work in us if we are innocent, pure, and untouched, then most of us will give up and go home. I’m not talking about whether you have been tarnished or sullied in the sexual dimension. That’s not the point. All of us have been marred in numerous ways by our sin and weakness. Mary’s virginity is telling us this today: We don’t have to be pure, innocent, or untarnished to receive the miracle.”
He adds, “Mary’s virginity represents the impossibility, humanly speaking, of life coming forth. We need to see her virginity as a picture of the hopelessness of the situation. When we have a virgin involved, and the angelic messenger says, ‘You’re going to bring forth a child,’ it’s a small wonder that she says, ‘How can this be?'” (She says this later on in the passage.)
This is the most encouraging part for all of us. “Can you see yourself in Mary’s situation? There is a dark pocket in your life, as with her womb, where life has never entered. The Mary Miracle is something that is available to each of us, but it requires an identification of the dark place, the personal poverty-pocket of your own experience, where the riches of the Lord need to enter, and where you would open up to it and say, ‘Okay.'”
Where is the dark pocket in your life? We can have hope that it can be filled with life! I will continue with Part 2 in the next post.
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