” ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered.” — Luke 1:38a
The events surrounding the birth of Jesus were both eventful and uneventful. This was one of those times in history when those who understood it best were looking for His coming. Many did not.
Joseph and Mary were two young, Jewish people who most likely were looking for the coming of the Messiah from a nationalistic point of view but not necessarily from a personal one. It, more than likely, never crossed their minds they would be chosen as the ones to raise the Savior of Israel and, ultimately, the Savior of the world.
The little town of Nazareth was north of Jerusalem in the region of Galilee. It was one of the most beautiful places in the area but it was very humble and lowly regarded. No wonder the God of the Universe chose this as the cradle for humanity’s salvation.
When Mary, a young Nazarene girl, was pledged to be married to Joseph, she was visited by the angel Gabriel who said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31) After a few questions and instructions by Gabriel, Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
Some months later when Mary probably began to show, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because it was the Holy Spirit who conceived the child inside of her. “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (Matthew 1:24)
Why did God choose Mary and Joseph to be the ones who would carry and raise Jesus? The common quality we see in both their lives is their willingness to obey God. Psalm 128:1 says, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.” Mary obeyed the Lord as a humble servant and committed to do whatever He told her to do. Joseph, likewise, willingly submitted to the Lord’s will by immediately obeying. As a result, they had the great privilege of becoming the earthly parents of our Lord. What a wonderful story of God’s love and grace for the humblest of people.
You and I may never have an angel come and visit us. However, everyday we have an opportunity to obey the Lord. He has graciously provided His Word, the Bible, and His Holy Spirit so we can know the direction He wants us to go. Are you willingly obeying God when He tells you? Take this Christmas season to recommit yourself to abandoning your life to the will of the Master and see what He does in your life.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.