Luke 1: 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
The angel did most of the talking. I hadn’t thought of this before but all this spoke to me. Notice the angel called Mary by name. He spoke to her in verse 28. She was troubled as seen in verse 29. She wondered what kind of greeting this was; then he called her name telling her not to be afraid. She didn’t recognize Gabriel; neither did Zacharias when he went to him. Mary knew he was not of this earth. There was something glorious about him that gave her calm and a sense of peace. God does the same for us.
Mary’s name was known in heaven and shows God had chosen her before she knew it. We’re here by design and purpose. When Mary questioned Gabriel in verse 34 it was just wondering on her part how all this would be. She had never been intimate with a man. Mary speaks comfortably to the angel. Her fear is gone. Gabriel spoke several things to her and ended it with for with God nothing shall be impossible. Then we see Mary’s response in the next verse. Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. She gave her consent.
How important is this? It is all important. It teaches us something essential. Would any of us have been saved had we not consented? Would we be where we are today? Paramount to every decision we are confronted with is God’s will over our will or the will of the world. When we pray “thy will be done” we are submitting our will to God. Consent is our permission.
The God of Glory keeps the earth spinning and holds the atmosphere by the power of his hand. Air is breathable. The list goes on and on. God makes it all work. He could strong arm us but he doesn’t. The one failure of creation is mankind yet God asks for our consent. When we have procedures or surgeries done we sign all sorts of paperwork. The doctor can’t do it without our consent. Nobody can force their will on us and God doesn’t do that either.
Consider this manger scene. The baby was put in the manger. Shepherds showed up. Later on wise men came. There are songs and decorations. The gospels, Paul and all the epistles are around later. Then it comes to us. We’d not be here. There would be no Christmas or Easter, no church, no Bible, no salvation, no anything if we take Mary out of the picture.
God made the plans. He was meticulous. John tells us in Chapter 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. This was written from heaven’s standpoint. The earth was created and all life forms from bacteria to creeping things. Man was created last. God wanted someone to love him and belong to him because they wanted to. Squirrels and rabbits and other parts of creation obey God’s will. He gave free will to men and women. He wants to be desired by us. Angels are not like us. We were created from the earth. An angel’s heart cannot be compared to ours. God wants us to choose him of our own free will. He saw our possibilities. He knew what Satan would do and then what would happen in the Garden. Satan is not omnipresent. He is not omniscient or omnipotent. These attributes belong only to God. All the way through the Old Testament from Noah, to Abraham to Isaac and Jacob and his 12 sons who became the nation of Israel. God worked through all of history and the prophets coming on to John the Baptist. Satan’s efforts were not successful to stop God. He brought it all down to one person. Many lives worked in the preparation and all the promises. A virgin would conceive was the promise.
The future hinged on the consequences of this meeting between Gabriel and Mary. It affected everyone on down to us and the people in the end of time. One person’s yay or nay. She was just a poor girl. She wasn’t from Jerusalem. The prophet Micah said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem yet Mary lived in Nazareth. She had hopes and dreams of her own. Joseph was a just man and both were servants of God. She called herself a handmaid, a servant of God, and said that whatever God wanted she would do.
If God’s will is best, what is best for us? She was called to sacrifice her future. Gabriel told her the message from God. She thought about it. She wondered how it could be. She knew her plans, hopes, and dreams. Joseph had dreams too. The salvation of all people hinged on their decision to serve the Lord. It takes of us what it took of Mary and Joseph. They are role models for us. She gave it all to God and put her faith in him. She said “behold.” Here I am. Your will be done. She was saying she would follow through. Joseph did the same. Because Mary gave her consent the Holy Ghost came upon her and our Savior came.
Then shepherds and wise men came. Down through time it has come to us. Guess who saved us—Jesus, Emmanuel—the Son of God and son of Mary, the one who gave her consent. Every day we decide as Mary did to give permission and consent to God for his will to be done in our lives.