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  • East Martin CRC

If You Say So


Luke 1:26-38

Verse 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”


Gabriel continues his busy season of speaking for God with this visit with Mary. Here again the story is so familiar that we tend to read it without giving much thought to the details of what is going on. For example we read in our passage today that Elizabeth was already in her sixth month of pregnancy when the angel appears to Mary. While that may not seem significant it shows that though Zechariah and Elizabeth expecting was a big deal, the news hadn’t reached the family that resided in Nazareth. Yes, they didn’t have our news sources but even by word of mouth six months seems like plenty of time to pass on the information. There likely had been a festival that would have had at least some of the family going to Jerusalem to celebrate and able to hear of such news.


No matter the reason, Mary had not heard and so when the angel came to her she had reason to wonder at this news of a baby for herself. Her question is slightly unlike Zechariah’s. We had mentioned that his was coming from doubt, while we see in her question a trust and desire to know how God is going to do what He has said. She doesn’t ask if she is supposed to get married for it to happen or even if Joseph is to be involved, she just asks how it will be possible.


This says a lot about Mary’s character. She knew God in such a way that she was willing to believe what His messenger had to say. She didn’t start fretting about what it could mean for her, Joseph and their families. She didn’t ask when or why. She trusted God in a way that allowed her to trust that He would work out all the details. She knew that this was no promise of a glamorous life, in fact it is likely she knew the ripples of gossip and such that would come of it. She didn’t know how others would deal with her, but she knew how God would and that is what mattered.


We can imagine the shock this news was to her family and we know from the account in Matthew that Joseph was ready to divorce her, albeit discreetly, so we can assume that he didn’t quite believe the story of how she became pregnant (Matthew 1:19-25). Since he was the one that God had chosen to travel this road with Mary, God didn’t bother sending the angel, the Lord, Himself, appeared to Joseph in a dream to explain it to him. And that is just what it took to get him on board with this plan that seemed so out of God’s will given that Mary was already with a child that wasn’t his.


Making It Personal

Have you ever felt like God was leading you to do something that didn’t make sense? How did you respond? Do regret how you responded?


Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever been asked to do something that didn’t make sense to you? Did you obey? Does it matter if you obey willingly or grudgingly?


Closing Prayer

Father, Your ways are higher than our ways and we may not always understand why You want to do it a certain way but deep in our hearts we know that Your way is always best. Give us hearts that willingly obey in trust. Help us see that our doubt is really showing a lack of trust in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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