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Influential women of the Bible: Mary

This post is all about Mary of Nazareth, mother of Jesus. Mary is, of course, one of the most well-known women of the Bible and for good reason. Mary's story is one that cannot be skipped over, though many of us have heard it time and time again.

As for some background: Mary was from Nazareth and lived under the Roman rule, which meant hardship and oppression that came from the rule of Caesar. Mary was a virgin and engaged to be married to Joseph when an angel appeared in her house to disclose the plans of the Lord for her.

"Six months after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee. The angel went to a virgin promised in marriage to a descendant of David named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary.

When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”

She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant.

The angel told her,

'Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.'”

Luke 1:26-33

In response to this, Mary ask the angel how this could be. Mary was confused on the logistics- which totally makes sense, right? Gabriel assured her that would make the "impossible" possible and gives her tangible evidence of this power by telling her that Elizabeth was pregnant, though she was told she could never bear a child. Mary believed the words the angel told her and believed in God's power.

If it were me, I think I would have a lotttt more questions for the angel and for the Lord. I can imagine I would have questioned God and struggled to believe that He would do something that seemed so definitively impossible. But Mary believed. And she was willing to take the flack of the world to fulfill God's plan.

What an admirable response to God. She trusted God's timing and said "YES" to His will. She praised Him in the trials this plan brought onto her and her family. She even sang worship to Him among others, telling of His great works in her life.

I strive to respond to God the way Mary did. When He ask something hard of you, how do you respond? With doubt and disbelief, or with joy that God is using us for His bigger purpose? I know I've struggled with this, especially recently. I've questioned if God knows what He's doing and why He would be calling me in a specific direction.

But ultimately, we know God is all powerful. He is sovereign. He is good. He does what He says He is going to. He is able and worthy to be trusted. So we can respond to Him in a way that proves we believe all those things.

My prayer for you this week:

God, thank you for giving us the Bible. Thank you for allowing us to read these stories and gain encouragement and inspiration from them. We are so thankful for your plan and for the way you brought Jesus into this world. Thank you for your son! I pray that you be with each person reading this throughout this week and give them the faith to respond to you the way Mary did, with joy and belief. We love you and we strive to know you deeper each day. Amen.


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