Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
The story of the Annunciation is certainly impressive, and verse 37, “Nothing is impossible with God,” is rightly loved and quoted widely. However, the central element of the whole story is Mary’s faith. That she would respond to Gabriel as she did is nothing short of astounding, all things considered. This statement by Elizabeth encapsulates that. Our greatest blessings all come by faith, from salvation on down. The Japanese translation I read uses some expressions in this verse that really strengthen the impact over how it’s said in English. Trying to put it back into English makes it a little awkward, but it says, “believed fully and without wavering,” and “will positively, without question, be accomplished.” We need that kind of faith! It’s kind of like a skydiver believing that their parachute was packed properly and the release mechanism would function properly, but even more so, because there are cases of improperly packed parachutes and malfunctioning rip cords. God has never failed and never will! There are certainly times when what He has said is misunderstood, and times when His time frame is entirely different from ours, but there is never a failure on His part. The most magnificent part of Mary’s faith was that she followed through on it, accepting the huge assignment God had for her. I’m sure she had moments during her pregnancy that she doubted her own ability to follow through, and feared the people around her in relation to what was going on. Joseph’s faith in this was pretty remarkable too, when you think about it. However, Mary was obedient even when she didn’t how the how of the fulfillment of what Gabriel had said to her. That is something everyone who claims Jesus as Lord needs to emulate.
Growing up in a staunchly Protestant family I didn’t focus on Mary very much. Now, with actually a good bit of association with Catholics, I am still disturbed by three elements of their treatment of Mary. The first is simply the matter of praying to her. I see nothing in the Bible to justify praying to anyone or anything other than the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The second is calling her the “Mother of God.” She was indeed the mother of Jesus’ physical body, but He preexisted her from before Creation, and calling her the Mother of God logically places her above God, as preexisting Him. The third is calling her the “Queen of Heaven.” As Jeremiah 44 talks about, that was a title for a pagan goddess! Heaven doesn’t need a queen, and such a title is dangerous in the extreme. All of that said, I should not overlook Mary and her magnificent faith. I do need to learn from her how to trust God completely, convinced that what He has said is real, regardless of anything else.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that my wife was indeed able to come home from the hospital yesterday, and that she was able to navigate the 15 steps of the staircase to get to our living area. There are almost countless things that have piled up over the past two months, and the natural impulse is to want to do them all immediately. I ask for wisdom and patience for us both as Your healing continues to be manifested in her body, so that she may be the instrument You intend her to be in relating to all those around her, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!
Thanks, Jack, for these thoughts. I’m teaching an advent study and these Mary passages are coming up. You will be quoted!
So pleased you and Cathy are at home together .🎉
Loved what you wrote in today’s message “God has never failed and never will ”
Flowers for Cathy 🌹🌷🌹🌷🌹🌷