Mary, Our Example

This exhortation was given on December 8, 2019 at Christ Church Downtown.

Many years ago, a messenger of God named Gabriel visited a young virgin in the city of Nazareth. Her name was Mary, and she was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.

After greeting Mary and comforting her, the angel Gabriel presented her with a message from the Lord:

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Lk. 1:31–33).

“But how can this be?” asked Mary in all sincerity, “since I do not know a man?”

Gabriel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:35).

And Mary, in all meekness and humility, responded to the greatest mystery of our faith saying: “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38).

This Lord’s Day I want us to consider the Virgin Mary, our example in the faith.

In this moment, we see her ready willingness to obey God—even in the face of many questions and concerns. While this moment was one of great honor for Mary, it also meant for her the loss of reputation, the complication of a betrothal, and a great trial for her faith. It was not an easy and light thing for her to say, “Let it be to me according to your word.” But she asked no further questions of Gabriel, and she had no objections for God.

Like Mary, we must also be quick and willing to obey God’s revealed will every day. We must be willing to go anywhere and do anything. We must be willing to serve anyone. We must be willing to speak the truth. We must be willing to pursue personal holiness. We must be willing to do the right thing when nobody is looking. And not only must we be willing to do such things, we must actually do them while it is still called, “Today.”

Mary was the most honored woman in the world. All generations indeed called her blessed (Lk. 1:48). She was chosen by God to bear the Son, the Savior of the world.

But we should never forget that the relationship of a believer to Christ is of much more significance than that of flesh and blood, of mother to child. For Jesus says, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mk. 3:35).

Yes, blessed is Mary and her womb that bore Jesus, but how much more so the man and woman that hears the word of God and obeys it (Lk. 11:27–28).

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