Luke 1:28 The angel went to her (Mary) and said, ” Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
During this Advent season of 2015, I intend to spend more time dwelling on the Word. Join me as I examine the first contact Mary had with the Lord’s plan for her life. Read for yourself the first chapter in the book of Luke. Read it as if you are reading it for the very first time with no preconceptions and on this day, put yourself in the place of Mary.
Mary is a small town girl living in Nazareth, a town in Galilee. She’s a young teenager, probably thirteen or fourteen, She’s been raised in a world much simpler than the one in which we now live. Her world consisted of her immediate family, close neighbors in a small town, and the joy of her betrothal to a Jewish man, Joseph. Life is going along as it has for other sheltered young women of that time. She is looking forward to becoming a wife and beginning a family of her own.
The angel Gabriel appeared to her. She is a virgin and she is probably spending most of her time thinking about Joseph, her husband-to-be. Suddenly an angel speaks to her! Her shock and surprise is truly beyond my ability to comprehend. Naturally she is gripped by fear, awe, wonder. What can this all mean? The angel proceeds to tell her not to be afraid and that she has found favor with God (Luke:1:30). In fact, the King James version uses the words”highly favored!” Twice she is told by the angel that she is favored by God.
Biblical dictionaries define favor as having gained the Lord’s approval, acceptance, special blessings or benefits. Mary’s blessing is to bear the Christ child, God’s own son! A simple sheltered teenage girl chosen by God’s own Hand. It makes me think back to young David, the future king, when he was chosen (see 1 Samuel 16). He was the least likely of all of Jesse’s eight sons and the youngest. Samuel looked at him last, but he was the one God had chosen or favored.
Mary was chosen especially by God, favored to be the mother of the Son of God. I’m stopping here for now and ask you to join me over the next few days in contemplating this news. Put yourself in Mary’s shoes! Clear your mind of the hustle and bustle of this world for some quiet time each day and think of what this would mean to you. Impossible? Nothing is impossible with God’s direction! His plan will work and is, of course, the perfect one!