211 - Gabriel Visits Mary
JULY 30 - Nº 211 Luke 1:26-80
The angel Gabriel appeared at the Temple in Jerusalem to tell an elderly priest named Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth would soon have a baby (see #210 - July 29). Six months later, he showed up again. This time the circumstances were very different. God’s messenger visited a young, peasant girl in a tiny village in Galilee called Nazareth. It was a tough town that included a raucous, Roman military post. The girl’s name was Mary, and she was engaged to a man named Joseph. Both happened to be descendants of King David. Gabriel spoke to her, “Mary, God is very pleased with you!” The angel’s sudden appearance startled Mary, and his words puzzled her. “Don’t be afraid,” he continued. “God is with you, and He has an extraordinary blessing for you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be the Son of God; the ruler of Israel; the Messiah! He will be a descendant of David, and his reign will last forever.” “But how will this happen?” Mary asked. “I am still a virgin!” “This baby will not be Joseph’s son,” the angel informed her. “He will be God’s Son, and the Holy Spirit will give him to you. And right now, even though she is very old, your relative Elizabeth is six months pregnant. The fact that she was able to become pregnant is proof that nothing can get in the way of God’s plans.” Mary humbly responded, “I want to be God’s servant; therefore, I am okay with this happening just the way you explained it.” When the angel left, Mary hurried off to Judea to visit her relative. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice, the baby inside her jumped, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. She said, “Mary, you are more blessed than any other woman. And the child you are carrying is blessed. I am not worthy that you have come to visit me!” Mary’s heart was filled with joy, and she began to glorify God. She stayed with Elizabeth for three months before she went home. Soon after Mary left, Elizabeth gave birth to her baby. The neighbors and family came to celebrate. They figured that he would be named Zechariah after his father. But Elizabeth spoke up and said, “No! We are going to name him John.” “But there is no one in your family named John,” they argued. When they asked Zechariah, he motioned for them to bring him a tablet. He wrote, “His name is John!” As soon as he had written his son’s name, Zechariah was able to speak. “Praise the God of Israel,” he proclaimed. “He is sending us our Redeemer and Rescuer!” Filled with the Holy Spirit, he began to prophesy about the important role his newborn son would have: “You will be a prophet of God and will prepare the way for the Messiah. You will explain to everyone how their sins can be forgiven. Because of God’s mercy, we can now find peace!”
Mary’s whole world was about to turn upside down! When she chose to trust God, she chose a very difficult path. She had a lot to lose: definitely her reputation, probably her fiancé, possibly even her life! Yet she did not hesitate. Do you trust God enough to go on a difficult journey with Him if He asks you to?