Six months after Elizabeth became pregnant; the angel Gabriel pays a visit to Mary in Nazareth: “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Have you ever read legal notices in the newspaper? Years ago I read some just to see what they were all about and I couldn’t believe that so many of them began, “Greetings from the State of Nevada, you have been sued.”
Mary’s reaction to the greetings Gabriel brought her was a bit similar: What kind of greetings would these be, am I in trouble?
In one sense, maybe she was in “trouble” for she was to become pregnant before she was married to Joseph, her betrothed. Yet this would be no ordinary pregnancy, for God Himself would be the Father of her child, and her conception would be from the Holy Spirit who would “come upon” her. Her son would be named Jesus, and would be known as the Son of the Most High, sitting in the throne of David forever and ever, ruling God’s people in glory; He would be the Savior of the World. In the process of telling her all of this, he also mentioned that Elizabeth had conceived in her old age and was already in her sixth month of pregnancy; Mary marveled at this. It should also be noted that she received the news a little better than poor old Zechariah, for she said: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” What amazing faith!
Soon, she would pay Elizabeth a little visit…
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Yes, Mary’s faith always stands out to me in comparison to Zechariah’s doubt. Zechariah’s question to Gabriel’s message that he and Elizabeth were to be parents of John (the Baptist) was, “How CAN I be sure of this?” While Mary’s question was, “How WILL this be,…?” Mary believed that it WOULD happen; she was simply wondering about process, while Zechariah doubted that it COULD happen.