I’d like to share a meaningful excerpt from Beth Moore’s book, “Jesus the One and Only.”
No matter where the angelic ambassador appeared to Mary, he must have stunned her with his choice salutations: “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:29 tells us, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words.” The phrase actually means “to stir up through out.” You know the feeling: when butterflies don’t just flutter in your stomach but land like a bucket at your feet, splashing fear and adrenaline through every appendage. How could this young girl comprehend that she was “highly favored” (Luke 1:28) by the Lord God Himself? The angel’s next statement was equally stunning: “The Lord is with you.” Although similar words had been spoken over men such as Moses, Joshua and Gideon, I’m not sure they had ever been spoken over a woman. The sight of the young girl gripped by fear provoked Gabriel to continue with the words, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.” (v. 30) Not until his next words did she have any clue why he had come or for what she had been chosen. “You will be with child and give birth to a son.” (V. 31) Not just any son – “the Son of the Most High.” (v.32) Probably only Mary’s youth and inability to absorb the information kept her from fainting in a heap. Then came my favorite line of all: “you are to give him the name Jesus.” (v. 31) Do you realize this was the first proclamation of our Savior’s personal name since the beginning of time? Jesus. The very name at which every knee will one day bow. The very name that every tongue will one day confess. Mary then asked, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” Gabriel met Mary’s question with a beautiful expressive response. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” The Greek word for “come upon” is eperchomai, meaning “to…..arrive, invade…..resting upon and operating in a person.” Only one woman in all of humanity would be chosen to bear the Son of God, yet each one of us who are believers have been invaded by Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:9) Gabriel ultimately wrapped up the story of the divine conception with one profound statement: “So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (v. 35) Could a teenager have fathomed that she was to give birth to the Son who was the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being?” (Heb. 1:3) Mary’s response: “Lord, I am your handmaiden. Whatever you want, I want.” Total submission. No other questions.”
I love Luke 1:45 which says, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her WILL be accomplished.” I see numerous similiarities in this magnificent story to our experience in knowing Christ as life. Did you know you are highly favored by God himself? Like Mary, how can we comprehend that the God of this Universe favors us? Did you know that the Lord Himself is with you, really with you? Did you know HE indwells you and made you holy, righteous and acceptable? Did you know that at our birth into the family of God the Holy Spirit came upon us and the power of the Most High overshadowed us? Colossians 1:13-14 puts it this way: “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son and in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” Do you allow Jesus to rest in you and operate through you? Jesus wants to extend His life to others through you. A baby invades her mother’s body in order to leave her mother’s womb to be an extension of the mother and father’s life. Jesus invaded us in order that we would allow Him to express HIMSELF to the world through us. This Christmas will you believe that what God has said about you WILL be accomplished?