Can you imagine being visited by an angel? What if that angel proceeded to tell you that you would give birth to the Savior of the world?
I would have freaked out and fainted! Thankfully, Mary did not. Although the exchange between Mary and the angel Gabriel was short, as I study it again this Christmas season, I see some character traits in Mary that I want to mirror in my own life and that I’d love to see you mirror in yours.
Before we dive in, here’s a refresher of the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary from Luke 1:26–38.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” 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.
Here are three things I see in Mary that I also want to see in me.
Mary knew God’s Word.
Mary was not shocked when the angel spoke of the promised Messiah. At no point did she exclaim, “I’ve never heard of an angel! What Messiah?”
Mary had to be familiar with the Scriptures. She knew about angels and the coming Son of God. We need to apply this in our own lives and make reading God’s Word an everyday occurrence.
Mary had a willing heart.
When the angel Gabriel presents the news to Mary, she doesn’t reply, “Actually, that sounds too big for me, I think I’ll pass. Just find someone else.” Mary does question the angel, since what he is telling her seems physically impossible, but it’s not in an attempt to get out of what God wanted her to do.
After some clarification, she states, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Are our hearts just as willing to obey?
Mary embraced the hard stuff.
Accepting this task could not have been easy for Mary. She knew she would be criticized for getting pregnant outside of marriage, and Joseph could have disowned her. I’m sure many people in the town rolled their eyes and thought, Pregnant by God? Yeah right!
Despite this, she still accepted the challenge and chose to trust in God’s plan.
Do we have this much trust? Do we say “yes” to doing hard things or choose the easy path instead?
When God asks us to obey, we can respond like Mary did.
Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. Although no one else will ever have this same call, God lays out a path for all of us to follow if we are willing. When God asks us to obey, we can respond like Mary did.
Do you see these characteristics in your life?
What else do you see in Mary that you’d like to mirror in your own life?
Tell us about it in a comment below!