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Gospel of Luke 1: 26-38 (NIV)
26 In the sixth month, 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 favoured! 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 favour with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name 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 the house of Jacob for ever; 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 upon 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 barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
We address three lessons from this passage.
The first is about God. The angel Gabriel used several titles for God. “The Lord” then “God” followed by “Most High” and “Lord God.” These titles refer to one divine person.
But the the angel referred to another person, “The Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is distinct from the Lord God. As the angel reported, the Holy Spirit’s visitation would be accompanied by the power of the Most High.
The third divine person named by the angel was the subject of this visitation: “a son” whom Mary was to name “Jesus.” He would be “the Son of the Most High” and “the Son of God.”
The angel had introduced Mary to the Triune God. Even before the Son had become human flesh, Mary had a revelation of God in three persons.
The second lesson is about God’s purposes.
The angel told Mary that the child she would bear “will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” and he will be given “the throne of his father David.” Moreover, he is destined to reign forever over the house of Jacob. His kingdom is to be an everlasting kingdom.
The third lesson is revealed in Mary’s response which is a reflection of Mary’s relationship with God. She answered, “I am the Lord’s servant.” “May it be to me as you have said.”
Mary demonstrated willing obedience. This obedience revealed her trust in God regardless of personal consequences.
We can learn from this. God values loving obedience from his children. God values the trust we place in him that allows him to pursue his will and his purposes through us even when, perhaps especially when, the process and the result are not evident to us.
How can we remain obedient to God? We are to keep close to him so that no other affection, no other desire, no other distraction separates us from him, not even for a moment.