This Mother’s Day we look at several characteristics of a woman God chose to raise his only Son (Luke 1:26-38). Twice in our text, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was highly favored by God. What was it about Mary that caught God’s attention? Scripture doesn’t give us the answer directly, but we do find some hints hidden in this brief account of Mary’s life.
Mary must have been startled when the angel Gabriel first appeared to her. After all, it’s not every day that an angel taps you on the shoulder and says you are going to have a son! Mary’s response reveals that she was deeply committed to serving God (Luke 1: 38). God is always looking for those kinds of people (2 Chronicles 16:9). Mary wanted God’s will above her own. She wanted God’s plan for her life, even if that plan made her life more difficult. That quality alone set her apart from the crowd.
Another compelling trait Mary had was a big view of God. When she said to the angel, “May it be done to me, according to your word,” not only did it reveal her submissive spirit, it also revealed her belief that God could do the impossible: he could bring about a virgin birth! If the Lord Almighty, the one for whom nothing is impossible, wanted to give her the task of raising God’s Son, then she would accept the job.
Our problem, at least one of them, is that our God is too small, our view of Him is too small. And consequently, we are not very impressed with him. In fact, we think that we can get along just fine without him. And oftentimes, we find ourselves in over our heads. God did not design us to live independently of him. The truth is, we need God, and he is big enough to meet our needs. Moms, how big is your God? Do you believe what the angel Gabriel said, that nothing is impossible for him? Do you believe that he can step into your present chaos and bring good out of it?
There is another admirable quality in Mary’s life that may have endeared her to God. Despite her obvious fears and feelings of inadequacy, Mary saw her unexpected motherhood as a gift from God. She rejoiced that God had chosen her to give birth to his Son (Luke 1:47-49).
Mary’s response to the blessing of motherhood was to worship and rejoice in God her Savior. Motherhood truly is a gift, whoever your child may grow up to be. According to the Bible, all of us are created in God’s image, and therefore we all have tremendous worth in God’s eyes. We are raising image-bearers…and that is a solemn responsibility.
There is a fourth reason that made Mary an excellent candidate: she had a solid spiritual foundation upon which to build her family. In Mary’s response of praise preserved for us in Luke 1:46-55, you will find allusions to 11 Old Testament passages.
Mary knew her Bible, and she drew upon its wisdom during a chaotic period in her life. It brought her perspective, direction, comfort, and hope. Old Testament allusions in Luke 1:46-55 include Genesis 17:7, 19; Job: 5:11; Psalm 35:9; 98:1; 103:17; 107:9; 118:15; 132:11; 138:6; and Habakkuk 3:18. The Scriptures were the foundation upon which Mary was building her life—no doubt a foundation passed along to her by her parents. And these same Scriptures would be the spiritual repository she would draw upon to raise her son, the Lord Jesus.
Two thousand years ago, God choose a young girl to give birth to Jesus Christ. While Mary wasn’t a perfect mother (there aren’t any of those), she was exemplary in many ways. In this week’s Talking Points Walking Points study guide, you will discover some others. Make some time this week to dive in and learn more!
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- Take time today to express your sincere gratitude to all the mothers in your life.
- Take steps to mend any tension in your relationship with your mother. As needed, forgive.
- Mary distinguished herself in her generation. In which of those areas do you need to grow?