7582 - The Chosen Maiden

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Let’s look today at the life of a special young woman.

We have been studying the amazing events of Luke 1.

First God gives to Zechariah and Elizabeth the marvelous story of a child, which was born to this couple after much prayer and perseverance. But God also gave the world the news that this son John was sent by God to prepare the way for the Lord.

Six months later the same angel by the name of Gabriel made another appearance in behalf of God to prepare a young virgin, both emotionally and spiritually for an event unique in history. This virgin, who had never had sexual relations and who had lived to please God was told by Gabriel that she would indeed become pregnant.

But let me read a portion from Luke 1:26-35:
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel 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. 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

We can imagine the turmoil caused within a young virgin by such an experience. Having a visit from an angel would be trauma enough, but such a message.
In the Hebrew culture of Mary & Joseph, ‘pledged to be married’ meant that both families had agreed to the union; and, that the groom had settled the price of the bride with her family. At this point the relationship could only be broken by divorce or death. They were considered linked, but sexual relationship was not permitted. After a waiting period, often up to a year, the couple would be married and begin to live together.

Mary faced the stigma of pregnancy before marriage. She would be a tainted woman. What would her family say? How about Joseph and his family? It would take God’s intervention to prevent a divorce from occurring.

But the angel gave Mary some positive reinforcement. She was highly favored by God. That means that God cared a great deal for Mary.

Her composure in this passage is impressive. Here she is, perhaps about 16 years of age, and she is not broken up by all this turmoil. God extended peace to her heart along with this startling message.

Notice this was not a request. Mary was not asked whether she would be willing to serve God in this way. God was in charge.

The profound news that this baby Jesus would be great and would be called the Son of the Most High would be understood by this Hebrew woman that He was to be the Messiah. He would reign on David’s throne over the house of Jacob forever, this son which she was to bear.

Mary did have a technical question. How can a virgin bear a child and never have sex? The angel assured her this was no problem with God. The Holy Spirit would complete this miracle of fertilization so that God would be His father.

With faith and confidence Mary responded: “May it be to me as you have said.” In her heart she accepted that nothing is impossible with God. The Sovereign God could take care of all the needed miracles, even to protecting her purity and reputation. Mary passed the test, and was blessed forever.