The thing about Mary: Women of the Bible
The women of the Bible are fascinating! The truth is that we can likely relate to most of them. But for me, relating to Mary was a little more difficult. See, the thing about Mary is that she was too “good”. I had done some things, been some places. My path had been a little more broken than Mary’s.
But as I studied Mary, I found that there were some things I could learn from her. Actually, there were many things I could learn from her.
Mary Jesus Mother
Mary was a young woman, many believe she was around 13 years old, when she was visited by an angel. At the time, she was betrothed to a man named Joseph. For the women of the Bible, to be betrothed was similar to being engaged in our culture, but it was much more permanent. Betrothal was a done deal. All that was left was a ceremony and consummation.
When the angel came to Mary, he told her that she was going to have a baby. Let’s take a look at the verses:
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[b] 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.Luke 1:29-38
Whenever I heard this story the focus was always on the angel’s words to Mary. But I noticed something fascinating about Mary’s words to the angel.
Look at the very last verse noted above.
I am the Lord’s servant – May your word to me be fulfilled.
What kind of faith is that?
The thing about Mary is that she didn’t get input from anyone else on this situation. She was basically married to Joseph, but she didn’t go to him and ask if it was okay for her to do this thing.
In essence, she simply said, “Okay God, if you say so.”
The thing about Mary is that she had incredible faith to believe that God would do what He said He would do.
My faith is not quite there yet. I still question. I still try to figure it all out in my head.
Faith vs. trust
For the women of the Bible life was different. They didn’t have the same rights and freedoms that we do today. But Mary didn’t let that direct her path.
Mary didn’t run to ask for permission. But she also didn’t run to inform Joseph that she was going to do this whether or not he agreed.
She simply said yes to God, and then trusted Him to bring Joseph up to speed. She trusted that if God visited her, He would visit Joseph too.
And then she waited.
And that’s the hardest part for me.
Waiting to see if God will do what I think He said. I usually try to figure out how I can help Him, how I can push some doors open. I don’t usually consider if I’m opening them prematurely.
But Mary trusted. Mary waited on God, and He did indeed visit Joseph. And the word of the angel did indeed come to pass.
As we know, Mary gave birth to a son, Joseph named Him Jesus, and He saved us all from sin and death.
And for me, the lesson I learned is that when God speaks to me I can trust Him. Whether He speaks through His Word or through a visit from an angel (which has never happened to me, by the way), I can rest assured that it will be done.
I don’t need to ask a friend, get permission, or force open doors. I can simply say yes and go on about my life. He will do the rest.
To learn more about women from the Bible get Libbie’s book:
Five, the women in the genealogy of Jesus