Meanwhile, In Nazareth…
Generous God, Your grace is given to me without measure or price. I have an unfailing reason to bless You.
Read LUKE 1:26-38
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Jesus’ miraculous birth does in fact point to his deity and also to the reality of the creative power that operates in our new birth” (J. I. Packer).
Having described John’s amazing conception, Luke turns his attention to Jesus’ beginnings. Throughout Luke’s infancy narrative, the accounts of John and Jesus run in parallel. However, Luke ensures that Jesus is greater. This is seen in the account of their origins. While John’s origins are miraculous with a barren woman falling pregnant naturally, Jesus’ are scarcely believable, with a virgin falling pregnant by the Spirit! This is the work of a new creation, with God meeting humanity in the womb of a young woman. The angel’s assurance that “no word from God will ever fail” (37) is wonderfully assuring to us as believers. When God speaks, history is transformed (Isa. 55:9-11). Jesus, of course, is God’s ultimate Word made flesh in a virgin’s womb (John 1:1-3,14). A world will be renewed. As with Elizabeth in our previous reading, Mary’s response is paradigmatic of a true follower’s response to God: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” May we emulate Mary’s fidelity to God.
God answers prayer, but he also moves freely. He is sovereign. He cannot be limited. He is the God who formed life from chaos. The Spirit who hovered over the waters of creation is also able to hover over a virgin and bring life from her womb (35,36). God’s story is one of promise and fulfillment. What God has promised he will complete–his Word is living and active and does not return empty but accomplishes what God purposes (Heb. 4:12; Isa. 55:11). We can live in assurance of his promises.
Mary’s response is glorious and provides a challenging example. She knows her identity as a servant of God. She prays that God’s Word to her would be fulfilled. It was. The scene is set for the coming of the One in whom the history of the world will culminate. He is our hope.
What are the promises of God to you? What is your identity? What is your prayer? How should you now live?
Mighty God, I bow in awe before Your amazing, creative power seen in Mary’s pregnancy. I also acknowledge Mary’s powerful response of faith and trust.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.