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Friday, December 3, 2010

12/4/10 Luke 1:34-38 Marys Faith Compared to Zechariah's Doubt

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on 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. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

(Greek Church of Annunciation- ancient well in Nazareth where legend says the angel spoke to Mary)

Thoughts: Mary gives us the great example of questioning in faith- She asks "How will this be" but at the same time she is willing to submit to God's will.  In contrast is Zachariah who questions in the Temple thinking in doubt.  Our answer to God should be may it be to me as you have said.  Zechariah believed only in the usual.  Mary believed nothing was impossible.  Too many Christians today believe only in the usual.  In dark times, we need to grow in faith, believing in the power of God- with Him nothing is impossible.  Without that belief we are no different than the mute Zechariah, compared to the praising Mary. 
Prayer: Give me grace, O Lord, to believe in you. Help, Lord, my unbelief.
John Calvin abridged: Mary, a little like Zechariah wonders how the angel's words could happen when she had not known a man.  However, she does not ask in such a way that God's power is lowered to the level of her senses.  The question arises from admiration rather than distrust.  The virgin was not given an answer to the specific manner- which was not necessary.  Rather she was asked to trust the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Christ is to be born in an extraordinary way to show he was holy and not just a part of the ordinary rank of humans.  "Son of God" is a title referring to Christ's divine essence.  He is of the holy seed, meaning that he did not contract normal human impurities from sin.  Yet he was truly human to vanquish death and evil from us who are human. 

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