God’s Plans can be Unexpected!

In today’s passage, we see Gabriel bringing news to Mary this time, the future mother of Jesus. Just as previously when Gabriel delivered his message, he was aware of Mary and her emotions and feelings. He knew she was afraid because he was a heavenly being and his news was unsettling. She wondered how she could possibly be with child as she was unmarried and had never slept with her betrothed Joseph. Her questions come from fear and concern not unbelief. Gabriel is patient with her and tries to relieve her fears. Mary does not question the fact that God could cause her to be pregnant or that an angelic being is speaking with her or even the validity of the content of his message. Mary accepts these things by faith. Luke 1:26-34

 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. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 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?”

Yesterday we saw Elizabeth’s response to the miracles God brought into her life. Mary likewise is not fearful of being used by God for this great purpose, only curious. As a young Jewish woman she would know the prophecy’s about the coming Messiah. She would know the implications for both she and Joseph if she were to become pregnant outside of marriage. However, she receives the message from Gabriel with wonder. Zechariah questioned God’s ability to bring a child into their marriage because of their age. Mary does not question God’s ability to do this but is curious as to how this can be. Her response to the coming miracle is one of faith and not a question holding doubt in her heart. What about you? When God provides in an unseen way or does something miraculous in your life, do you question His ability to do it? Do you say why or wait a minute this can’t possibly be? God expects us to respond with faith and then thanksgiving which we will see Mary does as the passage unfolds.

One other observation about this passage, Gabriel calls Mary ‘highly favored’ of God and that the Lord is with her. Do you consider yourself ‘favored’ by God? If you know Jesus as your Savior, you are recipient of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. His Holy Spirit indwells and empowers you to live for Him. You are definitely highly favored and loved by God!

Today take a few minutes to ponder what God has done and is doing in your life. Look at how you have responded to His goodness and provision. If it is with a thankful heart, keep on thanking Him. If it is with hesitancy or doubt, turn to Him and seek His forgiveness. Remember and claim Jeremiah 29:11 for your life and believe it as Mary and Elizabeth have shown us.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” They trusted God with the plans for their lives and knew that God’s plans would be for their good and His glory! Can you do the same today, you who are also highly favored by God?


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