Favored by God!
By Ysrael De la Cruz
Some information tends to carry huge implications to our lives. Some news could change our lives drastically. The visit to the Dr, as you wait for the test results to find out you have a terminal disease. Sudden death of a loved one in a car accident. These things are shocking, disturbing to your ears. How often have you had to change your plans due to some circumstances beyond your control? How many of us had to change our plan last year due to Corona virus. Things had to be suspended, postponed, cancelled. Very shocking news to the world.
A young girl was planning a wedding; she was so excited, but one day she had an unexpected visitor who brought to her some disturbing news. It was not what she had in mind; this news could wreck all her wedding plans.
Can you imagine? how would you react to something like this?
This young girl was Mary. God sent his angel Gabriel to deliver some disturbing news to her. Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (Luke 1:5-26, 36) God sent Gabriel to Mary.
Mary was engaged to Joseph a descendant of David. (v.27)
Gabriel’s greeting: Greetings you favored one, (you who are highly favored) The Lord is with you.
Mary had no idea what the angel meant. She was perplexed, puzzled, troubled by this greeting.
The angel then explains to her the greeting and the reason he came. (v.30)
Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God. This is great news. God looks at you with favor, grace. You are favored by God
You will be with a child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob, his kingdom will never end.
After this shocking news, Mary certainly did not feel favored by God.
Mary’s response.(v.34) I am not even married yet. How can this be possible since I am a virgin? Isa.7:14 A virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.
Leave the impossible to God. (v.34-37)
God will take care of the details. God’s Spirit will come upon you and his power will overshadow (envelop) take residence in you. So, the Holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Even Elizabeth, your relative, is going to be a mother in her old age, for nothing is impossible with God. (v.37)
A baby does change everything.
The effect of this news! It could have impacted Mary in many ways:
-Her relationship with Joseph (How is he going to react?) What about Joseph?
Matthew’s account tells us that Joseph was going to divorce her. Joseph did not believe Mary’s story and he was ready to leave her. At least he did not want to make a big deal of it. Joseph did not want Mary to suffer disgrace (embarrassment, shame), therefore, he was going to undo the engagement secretly.
What a pregnancy before marriage would mean for Mary!
-Considered an adulterer.
-Shame and ridicule (damage your family name).
-death, Joseph could legally have Mary stoned to death if he so chose.
A baby does change everything and this baby, will not only change Mary and her family. He will alter the course of history.
-A son named Jesus (v31)
-He will be great and will be called the Son of God.
-He will reign on David’s throne. (he will bring geographical changes)
-His kingdom will never end. He will change the world.
God chose this young woman to be the channel by which his Son will come into the world. Imagine what may have gone through her mind after receiving such world-rocking news. She will be the mother of a child that will change the world; he will change you and me. Saying yes to God may carry severe consequences.
She placed herself at the Lord’s disposal. “I am the Lord’s slave; May it be to me as you have said” (Whatever comes my way I will do). Mary surrendered her agenda to God.
Mary chose to trust God even when she did not understand how things will unfold in her life. Mary was agreeing to God’s will and going against culture expectations. Sometimes saying yes to God means saying no to your plans, to your own feelings. Saying yes to Jesus means going against your own family and traditions. This is what Mary did.
Mary knew the implications of agreeing to God’s will. Joseph could leave her, and she chose to trust God. She could be killed or at least disowned by her family, but she chose to trust God in the midst of it all.
Mary trusted God even when her world was about to be shaken.
She was highly favored in being chosen by God to bear God’s son.
You too are highly favored by God. God sent his Son for you to change your condition from unrighteous sinner deserving wrath, to a righteous person. Jesus changes our condition from being enemies of God to becoming his children.
Jesus changes our destination: from heading to hell due to our sin; he recalculated our journey to a glorious destination in heaven.
He continues to change lives in this world; murderers become preachers.
You are highly favored by God in Christ Jesus our Lord.