*Bible Study Notes added below
Mary. Her story is well known due to her obedience and the fulfillment of prophecy.
Could you imagine being approached by an angel telling you that you will have the Son of God? How would you feel? She was about your age, roughly 15 or 16 years old. She was young woman full of hopes and dreams. Yet, her choice to be obedient gives us a powerful example to live by.
The beauty about her story is that it is delicately woven into "all" of our stories. A story that brings forth Life that changes the World!
Remember Sarah? She was married to Abraham, and they had their long-awaited son, Issac. Now we have another couple that has been waiting a loooong time to have a child. Meet Zechariah and Elizabeth. Zechariah was a priest and while in the sanctuary burning incense an angel appeared. The angel told him Elizabeth would bear a son, and his name would be John. In utter shock, Zechariah's response was to question the angel because he didn't believe his wife was able to have children. That disbelief caused the angel to make him mute (unable to speak). He remained that way until his son, John (the Baptist) was born! Note to self: With God all things are possible! (Matt. 19:26)
At the same time, Mary, then called Marium (names were changed in Biblical times for certain reasons, like to declare either a covenant or hold a special meaning) was engaged to Joseph. A noble, kind and hard-working man. He was a craftsman and was well respected by many. It is said that he was faithful and humble (Matt. 1:19) But, his faith was about to be tested.
Meanwhile, Mary is approached by an angel and told she is favored by God. Chosen. Honored. And that the Lord is with her. Gabriel, the angel, continues telling her that she will become a mother and have a son - the Son of God! (Luke 1:26-38)
While Mary must have been concerned about this news, (and how she was going to Joseph) her response says everything - "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be me according to your word." A little different than that of Zechariah's.
How was she able to respond with such confidence? The Bible actually says she was troubled at first upon hearing she was honored among women. (Luke 1:29) In that passage, you can see her humble heart. Her raw emotions as she ponders why God would choose her to be a mother, much less the mother of God! But, the angel declares, "Do not be afraid." A statement that may have come across as a means to bring peace. And it appears that it did.
God gave Mary that peace and in time brings peace to her sweet soon-to-be husband, Joseph. After Mary receives news that she is with child, she knows she needs support, so she goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth and Zechariah. She stays for three months before returning home. What a fun visit that must have been! Both of them are pregnant and about to have baby boys. Two very incredible baby boys. One that will prophesize about the coming Messiah and one IS the Messiah!
When Mary returns home she breaks the news to Joesph and let's just say it doesn't go over too well. But... an angel appears to Joseph and reassures him that what Mary is saying is true and so he willingly trusts and does his best to protect her and their "son."
The rest is history. Jesus came to show us the Way, Truth and Life. (John 14:6)
Mary's story of obedience and trust is a lesson for all of us. When God calls us to something, we must trust that He will see us through it! And remember - With God all things are possible.
As you go into your week pray and ask God how He can use you. What is He calling you to do? Reach out to a friend? Serve a family member? Help at church? Be still and listen. Then be obedient.
See Bible Study Notes on Mary:
***This week read about Hannah. Her story is found in the book of 1 Samuel 1-2. Just read the first two chapters. It's a shorter story, but a powerful message. Read, respond, reflect and react. What can you take away from her story?