Friday, November 4, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Behold the Handmaid of the Lord

In Elisabeth's sixth month of pregnancy, Gabriel the angel was sent to Nazareth to speak with Elisabeth's cousin, a young girl named Mary. We don't know how old Mary was, only that she was young. She was betrothed, or in modern terms, engaged to be married, to Joseph.
 28. And the angel cam in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
 Mary didn't know what to think of this. It scared her, plain and simple! She wondered what this could mean. 
 Gabriel told her, Fear not, Mary. You have found favor with God. (Luke 1:30)  He told her that she would conceive a son, and his name would be Jesus. His kingdom would last forever.
  Mary, being the good girl she was, had never been with a man, not even the one to whom she was betrothed, so she was quite rightly confused as to how she could have a baby when she was a virgin.
  Gabriel explained to her how this would be, and told her that her cousin was with child. Mary accepted this honor with grace. She  was willing to accept God's plan for her, as she said in verse 38: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
 After the angel left, Mary went and visited Elisabeth for three months. Whether she was there when Elisabeth gave birth we do not know. But when Elisabeth saw her young cousin, the baby leaped in her womb. Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke praises.
 Can you imagine being Mary? Here she was, just a young girl preparing to marry. The angel of the Lord appears and tells her she is going to give birth to the Son of God. I think she understood that this was a wondrous thing, especially having never known a man at this point, but I wonder if she truly knew what was in store for her son? What truly makes Mary special is her willingness to accept God's will for her. This will be discussed at another point, but she had to have known that being pregnant during betrothal was not a good thing. Chastity was expected and fornication was not taken lightly during this time. But she accepted God's will.

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