A Royal Birth Announcement
By Caron Cline
In the fullness of time, a royal birth announcement went forth to a very unlikely recipient, a peasant girl named Mary who was engaged to a young man named Joseph. The angel Gabriel had earlier appeared to Zechariah in the Temple, declaring that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son who would be the forerunner of the Messiah.
Now, 6 months later, he appears to Mary with the shocking announcement that she was the vessel chosen to carry Israel’s long-awaited deliverer. There was nothing about her that stood out nor had she done anything to deserve this great honor. So, why did God choose her? For the same reason, He chooses us…. because He wants to show us the riches of His grace.
Even Gabriel addressed her as ‘O, favored one’, which means ‘full of grace’, saying ‘the Lord is with you’. Mary must have had a thousand questions, yet she only asked one. ‘How can this be?’ Gabriel replied that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, and God’s power would overshadow her, securing an immaculate conception. She was given very little information concerning something that would turn her world upside down. For the rest of her life, Mary held onto the angel’s promise: ‘O, favored one, the Lord is with you’. We can handle anything if we remember that we have the favor of God upon us and the Lord with us. Gabriel did give Mary a sign, the announcement of Elizabeth’s pregnancy in old age, obviously a miracle of God. Mary believed the word of the Lord spoken through the angel and surrendered to God’s will with no regard for the consequences.
What would God do in and through us if we would surrender ourselves regardless of the cost? Mary proclaimed herself to be the servant of God and interestingly she would give birth to the Savior of the world who came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. No wonder God chose Mary….she had a servant’s heart; the perfect mother for His servant Son.
Matthew gives us Joseph’s take on the situation after hearing Mary’s news. He doesn’t believe her at first, but after an angelic visit in a dream, he accepts the mission that God has ordained for the couple. If Joseph had divorced Mary publically, he could have shamed her and kept the money her father had paid as a dowry. If he divorced her privately, he was required to return the dowry resulting in his own shame in a culture that valued honor above everything. Joseph was surely a man of great integrity. Notice that there are no recorded words from Joseph in the Bible. He simply obeyed the word of the Lord by taking Mary as his wife, refusing to walk by sight, but rather by faith. The confusion and doubt of family and friends, the unexpected journey to Bethlehem, the lack of proper lodging, and finally the birth of God’s Son in a damp and dirty stable offered many opportunities for despair.
However, Mary and Joseph did not doubt that the word of the Lord had come to them individually and that this was the perfect will of God for their lives. Within a few hours, the Lord confirmed His Word by sending shepherds who had also received a royal birth announcement from an angel. God chose a humble girl to bear His Son, a humble place for Him to be born, and humble people as His first visitors. He still chooses humble people to bear His Name and spread His fame.
Caron is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. She loves to teach the word of God.
Her desire is to see every believer grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
You can read more Christian News from Caron HERE.