The Lord’s servant
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God...The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:29-38
The words of Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true,” reflect the attitude God desires in all of His people. The gospel of Luke is filled with events that must come to pass in the plan of God. Elizabeth had a cousin whose life was to change dramatically. The mother of Jesus gives a moving example of willingness to fulfill her role. This godly young woman, Mary, met the angel Gabriel. It was high honor to be chosen of God to bear His Son, but this was not without sacrifice to Mary. She was engaged to be married to a carpenter named Joseph. In biblical times, such a relationship was considered as binding as marriage itself. To break the betrothal was seen as a kind of divorce. If a son was born without a visible father, what would happen to her reputation? How would she be able to rear Him? It might be not only a loss of honor, but a loss of life as well. Despite all this, she could say, “May everything you have said about me come true.” One great comfort Mary had in her trying circumstances was the information that her relative, Elizabeth, was sharing her experience of having a miraculous type of birth in the near future. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of King David, who reigned some 950 years earlier. The true royal succession had ended centuries before, and the Herods had seized the throne. This is why Mary and Joseph were poor. Lineage from King David was a fact recognized more than once during our Lord’s ministry, some referring to him as “son of David” (see Luke 18:38). As such, he was lawful heir to the throne of Israel. Scripture declares him the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). Now it is some months since Elizabeth conceived. Mary is told by the angel that she is “favored woman” (Luke 1:28). Gabriel’s message to Mary is focused on her child, Jesus, soon to be conceived. His greatness and glory are described (see Luke 1:31–33). Then Gabriel describes the immense power involved in bringing this about (v. 35). In reacting to all this overwhelming information Mary does not question God’s power or his choice. One thing is important to her; “I am the Lord’s servant.” If only every one of us were so willing to obey the voice of God!