In a previous post I discussed those who had given up their rightful freedoms in order to wholly be given up to the will of another. They had turned a deaf ear to all other voices in order to listen only to the voice of their master. This is what the Lord is looking for from each of His followers. If we want to see a prime example of how this works out in practical terms, all we have to do is look to Mary the mother of the King.
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In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 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. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 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.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:26 – 38
Some Things to Remember
There are a few things we need to remember when considering this story. One thing that must be kept in mind was that Mary would have been somewhere between 13 and 15 years old at the time. While we may think it scandalous that someone so young would be engaged to be married, it was normal during that period of time. (I sometimes jokingly say that they married them off so young they burped them at their weddings!)
Mary was engaged. During that time engagement meant she was legally married. All the commitments had been made in the presence of witnesses. She was likely still living in her father’s home, waiting for the day when her husband, Joseph, would come a take her away to the home he had built for them.
Premarital pregnancy was an extremely shameful thing during that time period. It was something that would bring shame on the girl and her entire family. It could even call into question the integrity of the one she was engaged too. It was not something to be taken lightly as it would bring a stigma on the girl and her child that would likely be born the rest of their lives.
Mary was a very normal young lady with all the hopes and dreams of a Jewish maiden of the day. It’s easy to see why Gabriel’s message would have caused some questions to arise. But look at her response.
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Luke 1:38
As was discussed in the post Is Your Ear Pierced?, the word for servant is the Greek word doulos. Doulos refers to someone who is wholly given up to the will of another in complete disregard of one’s own interests. Therefore, another way of interpreting Mary’s response would be,
“I am completely abandoned to the will of my God, regardless of the cost or what others may think.”
Mary died to several things when she made her commitment.
She died to all her previously held hopes and dreams.
She died to what her parents thought or how it would affect them.
She died to what her beloved Joseph would think or how it would affect their relationship.
- She died to all the thoughts and opinions of her society at large.
From that day forward her ear would be forever nailed to the door of God’s will. Nothing anyone else said or did would ever matter again. She was completely given up to her God.
What An Example!
What an amazing example Mary is of someone completely abandoned to the will of the King. Regardless what her life had been up to this point, she began living in the Reign of God like never before. May her example challenge us all to examine our level of commitment to the King. Let’s face it, anything less means we are not truly living in the Reign.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.