The angel, Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God (see Luke 1:19) came to see this virgin named Mary. Gabriel stands in that beautiful, awesome Throne Room described in Revelation 4. At the behest of the One on that Throne, Gabriel comes to visit with this young, engaged woman. Gabriel’s statements come directly from the mouth of God.
Keep in mind that Gabriel doesn’t come to visit just anybody. There are only 4 recorded visits in our Scriptures where Gabriel is sent to visit someone on the earth. The prophet, Daniel, received two of those visits. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist had one. But the last recorded visit from Gabriel happens to Jesus’ mother, Mary.
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. Luke 1:26-27 niv 2011
The word virgin is written twice in verse 27, and I think it’s written twice for two very good reasons.
The first time it’s written is to establish the fact of Jesus’ virgin birth. No one had been with Mary. Her body and her womb were both pure, ready to receive the Divine conception.
The second time virgin is written is because sex is a big temptation for a young lady. Luke could have written that portion of the passage like this: her name was Mary. But he didn’t. He chose to write the word virgin again when he give us her name.
We know Mary’s young, but we don’t know how young. We can presume that she’s at least 12 ½ years old because that was the age of legal betrothal during this time and place. Scholars put her age closer to being between 14 and 16 years of age – Mary’s adolescence would have been in full swing during this time. She was a real person with real desires, yet she was still a virgin, and Luke is careful to note that important character within the mother of Jesus.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that, An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. 1st Corinthians 7:34 niv 2011
I believe that our Warrior’s mother was very much devoted to the Lord in body and spirit.
Continuing in the narrative:
28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings [the Greek word there is chairō, and it means Rejoice!] you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
The literal translation here would read: Rejoice! The Lord will dress you with grace and accompany you.
29 Mary was greatly troubled [the Greek word there is diatarassō and it means alarmed] at his words and wondered [the Greek word there is dialogizomai and it means to reckon thoroughly] what kind of greeting this might be.
Keep this conversation in mind as we continue – Mary was alarmed at his words and reckoned his greeting thoroughly.
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
Mary found favor? (favor is actually grace, which is really important as we continue.) But if Mary found something I don’t think it’s a stretch to presume that she was seeking. The Warrior’s mother was seeking.
Here are a few examples of what we are supposed to be seeking. There are about a bzillion references, these are just a few. And I only took examples from the Old Testament because that’s what Mary would have been familiar with:
28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. Deuteronomy 4:28-30 niv 2011
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
11 Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
12 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 1st Chronicles 16:10-12 niv 2011
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 2nd Chronicles 7:14-15 niv 2011
And it’s like that all over the Bible – if you seek God, you will find Him and He will heal and forgive and deliver. There is promise after promise.
And if you don’t seek Him:
13 King Rehoboam established himself firmly in Jerusalem and continued as king. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. 14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. 2nd Chronicles 12:13-14 niv 2011
That’s a warning, and there’s a bunch of those in the Scriptures as well. With all of our sharp concordances and BibleGateway.com there is no reason that we shouldn’t be looking up these promises and warnings and learning about where they came from.
Back to Mary…
It’s clear – the mother of our Lord Jesus was seeking, and she found God’s grace and He dressed her in it – not of her own choosing, but because God made the decision to give it. All the glory and majesty placed within Mary should have killed her. She very literally was touching a holy God, but He dressed her in grace and protected her. God in the form of this unborn child would accompany her through the next steps.
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?” Luke 1:31-34 niv 2011
There is not one ounce of guile in our precious Mary. She deals completely in truth – no manipulations. Look at all that Gabriel says to her: you are to call him 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; He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.
She obviously believes all of that because the only thing she questions is the conception – I am a virgin. Out of all that all she questions is how the conception will happen – I think it’s just mere curiosity at this point for Mary. I think this young woman knows her Scriptures (because she’s been seeking, and you cannot know your Scriptures unless you’re seeking.) So she knows of the prophetic words of Isaiah, The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 niv 1984 And she probably also knows about Isaiah’s prophecy,
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7 niv 2011
Mary was alarmed at Gabriel’s words because she knows exactly what Gabriel is talking about. She will carry within her the majesty and supremacy of a King.
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 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.”
The Son of God…chances are that Mary also knows how the Son of God comes to suffer for our sin. Isaiah (53) prophesied these things, and Isaiah’s prophecy is verified in our New Testament. But here’s Mary’s response,
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:35-38 niv 2011
The Warrior’s mother isn’t thrown into a panic, though she knows that this new life within her will suffer and die. She doesn’t carry on and beg for the circumstances to be brought upon anyone else. The Warrior’s mother isn’t a drama queen – and just as an aside, because sometimes we can be notorious for being drama queens – don’t ever give in to that emotion. Fight it with everything you have. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve partaken in drama sprees, and I’ve watched other people (men and women alike) partake in this disgusting, manipulative course of action. It is a spectacle and it should have no part in our lives as Christian warriors.
Please join us for next week’s blog, A Warrior is Pure – The Mother of a Warrior Part 3, to learn the rest of Mary’s story.
© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom
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