Have you ever wondered about God’s divine plan for your life?
This year as I re-read the Christmas story, I was struck by the way God confirmed His will for Mary’s life — that she was indeed pregnant with His Son — and how He continually reminded her that Jesus is His Son.
Through Gabriel, Elizabeth, the shepherds, Simeon, and Jesus Himself, God gave Mary many moments that caused her to think back, to ponder, treasure and marvel at how her son was God’s Son — the One Who would bring salvation to the world.
Gabriel revealed God’s plan
What a mind-boggling moment that must have been for Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to tell her about God’s plan for her life. She was chosen to give birth to the “Son of the Most High.”
Her reply? She simply asked, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34).
Gabriel explained, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God,” (Luke 1:35).
Now, if somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind you are still harboring some doubt about the virgin birth, this account was written by a scholarly physician named Luke, who knew full well how babies are made. Then he researched the event to provide an orderly account for you.
If a residue of doubt still remains, consider the explanation that Gabriel gave to Mary.
“Nothing is impossible with God,” (Luke 1: 37).
And if you yourself have experienced the Holy Spirit of God coming alive in your life, you know full well that nothing is impossible with God.
So, from Mary’s humble and devout faith she replied, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said,” (Luke 1:38).
Elizabeth confirmed Mary’s pregnancy
When Mary went to see her much older cousin Elizabeth, who was also experiencing a miracle pregnancy, she was greeted with a blessing.
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:42-45).
Shepherds confirmed Jesus’ birth
After Jesus’ birth, shepherds hurried to town to find Jesus. They told Mary and Joseph how angels had flooded the night sky with the light of revelation that the Son of God had come to all people.
Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart,” while the shepherds returned to their flocks praising God all along the way (Luke 2:18-20).
Simeon confirmed Jesus as the Lord’s Christ
Thirty three days after His birth, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to consecrate Him to the Lord.
Moved by the Holy Spirit, Simeon– a righteous and devout man filled with the Holy Spirit– waited in the temple courts, because God had promised him that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ.
When Mary and Joseph brought Him in, Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God saying, “My eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel,” (Luke 2:30-32).
Mary and Joseph marveled at what Simeon said.
Jesus confirmed God as His Father
Twelve years later God continued to send Mary and Joseph reminders that HE was the Father of Jesus. After the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph were on their way back to their hometown of Nazareth when they realized that Jesus was not with them. They backtracked to Jerusalem and found Him in the temple courts sitting among the teachers who were amazed by His understanding.
Mary and Joseph were astonished too, but Jesus simply said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).
Although Mary didn’t understand at the time, she “treasured all these things in her heart,” Luke 2:51).
This season as you re-read the Christmas story, I hope you’ll take time to ponder, marvel, and treasure all that the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, means to you personally. And as God continues to search your heart for a willingness to accomplish His divine plan for your life, may you respond in humble faith as Mary did.
“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.”