In this month, we begin considering how God would become man and live among us. Any time we discuss this wondrous show of love and grace, we have to turn some attention to Mary, a woman that the scripture says, “found favour with God.”
Although we cannot pray to her, for there is one mediator between God and man, the Son Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5), we certainly should recognize God showed her matchless grace among women. Sarah’s womb was filled by God’s grace in her later years. Elisabeth’s early in Luke 1. However, Mary would not just carry a chosen servant of God, she would carry the Godchild Jesus, the Messiah. Her steadfast love and faith brought about her being highly favored, the Lord was with her, and she was blessed by Him.
We often skip over much of Mary’s life though. The angel visited, the Holy Spirit conceived, she bore Jesus in a stable. We seldom consider the in-between. In John 8, we find a woman being brought to Jesus to be stoned for adultery. Adultery and fornication were acts punishable by stoning. The Old Testament placed fornication on par with idolatry – it was a worship of fleshly pleasures, idolizing it (2 Chr 21:10-14). If Mary was guilty of this or married after laying with another man, she could be stoned (Lev 22:20-21). If she was simply lain with one time, that man was required to marry her (Deut 22:28-29). Either way, she was in a lot of trouble and would suffer great social isolation because of what the people perceived. She could not legally marry Joseph, she was wicked and impure.
Her faith had to have been tested, just as ours is today. Her faith had to have been known of God, just as ours is today. God already knew that she would demonstrate great faith and live a life, a testimony for our Lord. God knew she would be a good mother for His Son. Just as He knew and knit together Jeremiah in the womb before he was born (Jer 1:5).
Mary was a wonderful young lady. She was the perfect mother for Jesus, the Son of God. God chose her because she believed. She was blessed and given great grace because God chose her. Blessings and mercy can come because of our devout faith. However, the grace she was given (Luk 1:30) was unmerited, she was given this precious gift of God, a womb filled by the Holy Spirit.
She and Joseph (who would be seen as unorthodox and ostracized with her) had to remain very steadfast in their faith. They would endure hardship after hardship. But what a glorious privilege, to bare and rear the very Son of God, the Messiah, the tender plant; the very one whom would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. She bore Salvation for mankind!