“26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[
b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”Luke 1:26-28 NIV (emphasis mine)
When Gabriel the angel speaks to Mary, he starts by telling her two things.
1 – She was “highly favored.”
Another term for this may be “blessed.”
Someone once said that “A blessing is when God takes what you have and multiplies it to fully provide for all that you need. To be blessed means that all of your needs are met and that all of your needs are sustained. It is not based on what resources you have available, but on what God does in and through what you have.”
Throughout the scriptures, it is show that blessings are not automatic. Scripturally, there was a condition or premise for every promise of God. In other words, blessings were reserved for those who brought honor to Him.
2 – “The Lord is with you.”
This blessing that the angel spoke over Mary is the most mentioned promise to God’s people throughout the scriptures. When Abraham was worried about leaving his homeland to go to somewhere he did not know. God’s promise was When Moses was afraid to go before Pharaoh to lead a nation, he was given the promise in Exodus 3:12, “I will be with you.”. When Joshua was afraid to enter the Promised Land after Moses had died and Israel would be under his leadership, God’s promise was in Joshua 1:5, “I will be with you.”
God spoke encouraging words to the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
All throughout the scriptures, God does not promise fortune, finances, prosperity, or a lack of problems. He repeatedly gave the promise of His presence.
When Mary understood that she would be blessed by bringing honor to God, and that He would be with her in the journey, she learned that He was a God that she could surrender her life to.
I’m, sure that like any other young woman, Mary had her own dreams, and wishes for her life before she had this encounter with the angel. I’m sure she had questions as to how she would deal with being pregnant out of wedlock, telling her betrothed Joseph, and her family about what happened. I don’t think any of her friends who may have gotten pregnant before getting married tried using the story, “Well God did this to me!” It didn’t look to make sense. Things like this didn’t happen before, and I don’t recall anything like this ever happening again. Still, with the two promises of God from Gabriel (that she was highly favored and that God would be with her), she was willing to lay aside what she wanted for her life in order to surrender to what God had planned.
Here’s something I find very interesting from this passage. Mary learns about God using her to bring forth Jesus into the world. At the same time, Elizabeth and Zechariah learn that they are going to have John the Baptist.
Here’s what the verses say.
“46 And Mary said:”
” Luke 1:46 NIV (emphasis mine)
Here’s what happens with Elizabeth and Zacharias
“67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:”
Luke 1:67 NIV (emphasis mine)
Why is this significant? Zechariah was filled with and led by the Holy Spirit to prophesy over John. The scriptures do not say that Mary’s declaration and song of praise to God was the result of the Holy Spirit.
In other words, Mary song came from how grateful she was to God in her own heart. This give insight to inner character and her submission to God. I’d guess that it also give an idea of why God held her in such high favor. Mary shows me that living a life surrendered to God will lead to be living a life that is both “highly favored’, and one that I can trust that “the Lord is with” me.
Lord Jesus forgive the many times that I try to do too much myself. I pray for the spirit of Mary to be in me to gain Your favor and to recognize Your presence. Amen.