25 Days of Christmas – Favor in the Eyes of The Lord – Mary the Mother of Jesus
I’ve known a few young mothers in my day; girls who got pregnant out of wedlock. It’s a hard road to travel in these days but it was an even tougher road back in the days of our Lord’s birth. In those days, good girls helped out in their families until it was time for them to marry. Then they were expected to wed, bare children, and care for their household. If they had sex outside the bonds of marriage, they were branded, and most often the penalty was stoning.
It is into this society and circumstances that our final woman in Jesus’ line is inserted. Mary is a young, Jewish girl just of the age to marry. She follows the rules of her faith. She is by all definitions a good girl. Mary is engaged to to a man named Joseph, a carpenter. He is a good, righteous man. In her culture, they would live at home with their parents until the wedding night and they would not engage in sex until that night. Enter the angel of The Lord.
God sends an angel to talk to Mary and give her some very special news. She has been chosen to bear the son of God, Jesus. She has been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. Mary knows about the Messiah. Like a good Jewish girl she has been waiting all her life for him to come. Now she is hearing that she is to be his mother! Naturally she asks how could this possibly happen as she has not slept with a man. The angel tells her that God will make her pregnant Himself by causing His shadow to fall on her. She has found favor in the eyes of God.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’d be up for this challenge if it was presented to me! I mean, if she says yes to this she will be an unwed mother. Even if Joseph still wanted her there would be scandal. If he decided against their union, she could be stoned to death. And if she survived all of that, she has to raise a man destined to belong to His people and not her. Not easy for anyone, especially such a young women. But Mary loves her God so she tells the angel that she is God’s servant and will submit her will to His.
God is so good! He works out all the details. Joseph has his own visit from an angel and is told to take Mary as his wife, and he does. He also raises the child as his own and gives him the name Jesus as instructed by the angel. Mary and Joseph’s journey is just beginning. It will include a lot of heartache along the way but also a lot of joy and ultimately their salvation from the very boy they will raise.
We come down to a similar point here as we have over the past few days. Jesus draws us to Him, but He never forces His will on us. He allows us to choose. He has a part for each of us to play but we decide if we are willing to do so. This Christmas, He is drawing you to Himself. Are you brave enough to say yes to Him? It can be a tough road but it is the road to life. Let Him rescue you and be your Savior today!