Hard blessings

Luke138

My Jesus JourneyLuke 1:26-38, an angel promises the birth of Jesus to Mary

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, about half a year after appearing to Zechariah, he promises Mary God’s presence and His blessing. In fact, Gabriel reassures this young woman that God has decided to bless her.

Christians pray for God’s blessings often. We ask for “showers of blessings” to fall on us, our families and our country, really meaning that God give us relief from illness, healing in relationships, prosperity in our jobs, security in our homes and ultimately an easy, strife-free road to live out the rest of our days in peace.

This is not the blessing God decided for Mary. Instead, He gave her Jesus.

You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!

What an amazing, difficult, life-changing and transforming blessing! I have no idea how Mary heard past the word pregnant, considering she was a virgin and engaged to be married. She would have a son. Mary was the first to ever hear his name: Jesus.

Gabriel’s words confirmed at least seven Old Testament scriptures describing the Messiah that Mary’s people had longed for throughout their history: Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 16:5, Jeremiah 23:5, Psalm 89:3-4, Jeremiah 33:17, Daniel 2:44, and Daniel 7:14, 27.

Isaiah writes beautifully of this coming King, that Mary has just been promised.

    • Isaiah 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this!
    • Isaiah 16:5  then David’s throne will be established by love. From that throne a faithful king will reign, one who always does what is just and right.

Mary’s blessing would be the world’s hope.

And, it would come with tremendous cost and sacrifice.

Mary asks Gabriel: “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.”

Mary believed Gabriel. She trusted God, she just didn’t understand. So, she asked. Faith is not an absence of questions.

God’s answer through Gabriel was so kind and gentle. He even gives her knowledge of another miracle God is doing in the life of her cousin Elizabeth. Nothing is impossible with God.

Mary’s humility, her willingness, her complete faith in God’s plan is incredible.

“I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.”

God’s blessings are often unexpected and may not be what we would have planned. But, God’s blessings come with the promise of His presence.

May Mary’s faith be my faith. May I be willing to accept whatever God wants for me.

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