This young virgin teen-age girl, Mary, had just been told by an angel that she would carry the Son of God by means of immaculate conception by the Holy Spirit. For most, this mind-boggling idea would have them saying no…but not Mary. Her humble devotion and obedience to God shows in her song back to Him,( Luke 1:46-55) when she sings, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name.” Despite what Mary knew would be her lot if she said yes…the personal suffering, heartache, embarrassment, and loneliness…she readily agreed to be the mother of Jesus the Messiah.
Imagine being that Innkeeper. The usually small, unassuming town of Bethlehem was being over-run by people coming in for the required census. His rooms were already taken by travelers, when this couple approached…the wife, clearly pregnant. The husband pleaded for a place to stay…telling the Innkeeper the time was imminent for his wife to deliver. The Innkeeper hurriedly pointed to the stable where the farm animals were kept and turned away…too preoccupied with everything he had to do. And if Mary and Joseph had told the Innkeeper who this baby was…do you think it would have made a difference? Or was the Innkeeper just too absorbed…too focused on the tasks needed to be done to realize the Messiah was coming? Today, are you so preoccupied with all the things you think need to get done that you’ve delegated Jesus outside to the barn? Are you like that Innkeeper…so focused on your “to do” list that you’re going to miss the Messiah’s birth?
For a moment, put yourself in Mary’s place. An angel has suddenly appeared, telling you that you’re not only divinely favored among all women, but that you have been selected to bear the Son of God…all the while maintaining your pure, chaste physical condition. Being a devout Jewish young lady, Mary undoubtedly would have remembered the famous prophecy of Christ’s virgin birth spoken in the past by the Prophet Isaiah…”The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) But what this angel was telling Mary had to have been just too amazing to fully comprehend. Would you have blindly trusted this angel’s explanation? Or would you have balked after first considering the consequences if you said, Yes…knowing there would be gossip, embarrassment, and heartache ahead?
For Mary, this was her first baby…and for the world, it was likewise a new beginning. For Mary, it was her first labor and delivery in rather dismal conditions.. for us, it was the gift of a new start. It tells us in Colossians 1:15 that, “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation.” When that tiny baby was born, the manifestation of God the Father came to earth to dwell among us. And when Mary laid baby Jesus in that manger, surrounded by livestock and hay, the preeminence over all creation arrived to light the way for sinners.
This may be one of the most well-known prophecies of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Uttered by Isaiah in 734 BC, this unbelievable miracle is so far-fetched, so difficult for us to put our heads around, that it can be only be God that can accomplish it. It goes far beyond Anatomy and Physiology…far beyond our scope of understanding…into the realm of signs and wonders. ” And He will be called Immanuel”…God with us. If you stop to think about it, this is probably the greatest miracle of all. Almighty God came down from heaven and lived among us in the tiny form of a baby…that we may be saved from our sins.
The Lord has called you and laid on your heart a promise, but like Mary, you can’t understand how this could possibly happen. Like Mary, you have questions…but also like her, God will faithfully answer them all in due time. And in the end, like Mary, we will need to put our complete faith and trust in God, knowing that what He has placed on our heart will come about. Today you too are pregnant… you’re pregnant with a promise…a promise that’s about to come full-term.