Mary's personal choices had prepared her for the surprise! These verses describe Mary as a virgin. She had decided early on to maintain moral purity. That was not easy to do in her day, especially with the Roman soldiers ruling Israel. Yet, even during her betrothal to Joseph, she kept herself chaste and right. 2 Timothy 2:21 offers a wise word on the subject; "...so if anyone purifies himself from these things he will be a special instrument set apart, useful to the Master prepared for every good work." Purity places one in position to be the blessed of God. Mary stayed in obedience to God for herself and for her husband-to-be. When news of her pregnancy came, she knew that God was up to something special.
"Then the angel told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will give him the name JESUS. He will be great and will be called the Son of The Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have to end" (Luke 1:30-33). Mary was the first to hear the titles, "JESUS" (Jehovah is salvation), "Son of the Most High" and "Messiah". Before anyone else on earth knew who He really was or why He came, Mary knew. She now understood the purpose of her pregnancy, and all the scandal it would bring could change nothing. A teenaged girl was the first evangelist of all, and she told the Gospel in a song.
As soon as the angel departed, Mary made her way to the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth. As soon as she entered the house and Elizabeth heard her voice, the baby leaped in her womb and the Holy Spirit confirmed the truth in her mind. She shouted out, "You are the most blessed of women and your child will be blessed. How could this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
First came the angel's words; then came Elizabeth's affirmation. It was all Mary could contain!
God was about to change the course of human history. The most important 33 years of time were about to begin.
Life Application: All you ladies and girls, what would happen to you today if you had a 'Mary' experience? Especially if you said an angel came and told you this and then left you pregnant? And, guys, what would you do if you were engaged, and your lady told you this same story? Think about it!
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, You do such amazing things. Besides this story of Jesus' birth, You continue to do amazing things. I just finished reading a letter from a missionary telling how You brought missionaries to a village, and they had no place to stay for the night. You set this village up for these preachers, and by morning, 32 adults received Jesus as savior they had never heard about. You are still doing miracles. You have not changed the way You do evangelism. Miracles happen now as they did with Mary. Amen!