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  • Dr. Jackie Minor

Mary’s Response Can Be Our Response!

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:38


In preparation for Christmas, I have been reading back through the Book of Luke. The verses are familiar, but it feels like I am reading it for the first time. There is so much packed into each chapter. I catch myself wanting Luke to slow down and give me more details! It doesn’t matter how many times we read the same passages, the Holy Spirit is always able to reveal new truths and insights, providing just what we need in that moment. I truly believe the Bible is God’s personal love letter to us. The more we read and study, the more He speaks, and the stronger our relationship becomes.


I love how the Bible is full of relatable characters. I often attempt to insert myself into the stories, wondering how I would respond given a similar situation. In the first chapter of Luke we read about doubt, fear, confusion, curiosity, and joy. We have all experienced these emotions. It’s encouraging to know we have much in common with those we read about in Scripture. Each person’s story has something to teach and gives us confidence in our own story.


I must admit that every time I read about Mary, I am a bit in awe. Her response given her age was nothing short of miraculous. I have often wondered, What would I have done? How would I have responded if God asked me to do something of this magnitude? Would my response have been Mary’s response? Let’s take a look at how all of this went down in the first chapter of Luke.


Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. Luke 1:28


Can you imagine? If an angel showed up to talk to me, I can guarantee you I would be confused and disturbed. I’m sure it was nice to hear she was favored, but there is no doubt her mind was racing. The Amplified Bible says she was “…perplexed and kept carefully considering the greeting.” I see Mary as this humble teenager completely caught off guard. Sometimes God catches us off guard. He places a calling on our lives or a burden on our heart and we are left feeling confused and maybe even a bit afraid. We know from Mary’s response that this is normal! However, we can’t skim over the promise: “The Lord is with you!” Even in those moments of confusion, we are not alone. We don’t have to fear.


Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!” Luke 1:30


This phrase from Gabriel screams tenderness to me. First of all, he calls her by name; also, notice the commas in the first phrase. Now re-read the first phrase pausing before and after Mary’s name. Do you hear the tenderness? This was personal. The Bible says that God knows us by name (Isaiah 43:1, John 10:14). He does not abandon us in our confusion but meets us there (Isaiah 43:2, Deuteronomy 31:6) and reminds us who we are (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Next comes the message from Gabriel, which was the reason for his visit. Mary’s confusion would be taken to a whole new level!


You will conceive and give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of His ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever, his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” Luke 1:31-34


Mary’s fear gave way to questioning. It is important to note here that Mary was not doubting, unlike Zechariah earlier in the text. Mary was, by all accounts, married to Joseph though they had not been intimate. The implications of her having a child were far reaching in this time period. Her response was simply an attempt to understand this miraculous gift. God is okay with our questions. There is a difference between questioning from a place of faith and doubting from a place of unbelief. It is a matter of the heart, and God knows the intent of our heart (I Samuel 16:7, Proverbs 12:2). Mary’s faith-filled response was greeted with a statement of assurance, a statement many of us hold onto today. “With God nothing is impossible” Luke 1:37


When confusion or fear sets in, we can’t stay there. Instead, we can respond like Mary. We can talk to God, asking questions from a place of faith and knowing His plan is always perfect (Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 19:21). When God answers, it is our privilege to agree with Him just as Mary did.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:38


Mary had no more questions. At this this point, it becomes clear to me why God chose Mary. When presented with the news that she would conceive the holy Son of God, Mary responded with pure faith and obedience. She was obviously a young woman who knew WHO she was and WHOSE she was. Despite the cultural stigma she would certainly face, Mary humbly accepted her calling and affirmed her faith in God’s promise. The same can be true for us. “May everything you have said about me come true” is really the only proper response of every believer to every promise of God.


Mary lived the life God chose for her. So can we. Are you willing to embrace His promises?


“You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last – and so what whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16


“For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepares in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10


“You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9


What does God say about you? You are chosen and appointed. You are His handiwork. You are royalty. Do you agree with God? Responding like Mary, embracing who we are in Christ, is empowering. When we truly believe God’s promises, our lives will bear fruit and demonstrate His goodness to a lost world. We can live the life God has planned for us. “May everything He has said about us come true!”


Mary’s response wasn’t finished though. This whole experience left her full of praise! Imagine that. Her future was full of uncertainty, but Mary didn’t fret. Instead, she celebrated with her confidant, Elizabeth, and sang a song of praise! Her song (Luke 1:46–55) is full of Scriptures. By some counts, there are ten quotations of and allusions to the Old Testament, another strong proof of Mary’s learning and spiritual maturity.


Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in Gd my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:46-48


Most of us will never have quite the experience that Mary had. However, God is constantly at work in our lives and in our schools. There is much to do for the kingdom. Each day is an opportunity to respond to God’s prompting. Sometimes we may be confused or even fearful. We may need to ask questions as we seek to understand. Nevertheless, we can respond like Mary if we choose faith – believing we are who God says we are and holding onto His promises. Belief yields blessing, and blessing opens the door to praise when we respond like Mary!


“You are blessed because you believed the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:45


Mary’s response can be our response!


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