Day 10 – The Angel Visits Mary – Luke 1:26-45
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Mary is awesome.
Growing up in church we often learned about great heroes from the Bible. Over and over again we heard the stories of David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den and Noah with his ark. Most of the time the lesson from the story was an encouragement to have the same sort of faith in God that these people had.
I don’t recall seeing Mary presented as one of these heroes of faith. I think in some places there is a sort of fear of appearing “too Catholic” if we talk about Mary too much. She gets trotted out at Christmas for a few minutes so we can recognize her great faith and then she is forgotten until next year. I think she deserves much more. At the very least, when we go through the list of people who had great faith in God, she deserves a place up there with Peter, Paul, David, Daniel and the rest.
Maybe it is just because I have a daughter now, but I feel that I have been searching for more strong female role models in scripture. It was not something I thought of much as a boy growing up. But I want my daughter to see that there have been great women used by God throughout scripture: Ruth, Esther, Junia (her namesake), Mary and many more.
A couple years ago I read a fantastic book on Mary and I recommend it here: The Real Mary by Scot McKnight.