God creates the extraordinary in us
Luke 1: 26-37
26When Elizabeth was in the sixth month of her pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to a city in Galilee called Nazareth. 27 The angel carried a message to a virgin who had a wedding engaged with a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Her name was Maria. The angel came and said,
“May peace be with you, Mary! You are very blessed. The Lord is with you.
29But Mary, when she heard what the angel said, did not know what to think. And, wondering, she wondered what he meant. 30Then the angel continued:
The visit of an angel sent by God would probably astonish most of us. When you hear the words of this angel “… you are very blessed.” Many would be thinking of solving their problems, attending to their prayers, or even when it was time for the rapture! I venture to say that Maria also “… was thinking …” about her problems.
“Do not be afraid, Maria! God is pleased with you. 31You will become pregnant, give birth to a son and put the name of Jesus in him. 32 He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High God. God the Lord will make him king, as was his ancestor, King David. 33 He will be forever king of the descendants of Jacob, and his kingdom will never end.
34Then Mary said to the angel,
“That is not possible, for I am a virgin!”
In this brief moment, as your life passes through your mind, the angel brings you a news out of its context!
I can not even think of examples, but I believe that if it were with any of us, our reaction would be very similar to Mary’s: this is impossible!
The angel answered,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High God will envelop you with his shadow. Therefore the child will be called the saint and Son of God. Know that your relative Isabel is pregnant, even though she is so old. It was said that she could not have children, but now she is already in her sixth month of pregnancy. 37For nothing is impossible with God.
There are many examples of God’s wonderful deeds in the Bible: the call of Moses to free the Israelites (from birth) of Saul’s conversion to Paul (from persecutor to evangelist), to the resurrections of Lazarus and to the widow’s only son, among others. Today we are going to use Jesus’ conception to instruct us in how perfect God’s plan is.
Brethren, the message of today for us is God creates the extraordinary in us!
And to see clearly how perfect God’s plan is, we must also remember another miracle that occurred at the same time:
In Luke 1:13 it is written:
But the angel said to him,
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for God has heard your prayer! Your wife will have a son, and you will name him John.
It is clear that Zacharias prayed for a son. I do not believe that the couple prayed for a prophet child, yet God surprised them, for John the Baptist was the announcer of Christ. A request met in an extraordinary way!
However, the Bible does not mention whether Mary had asked God for something. Nor does it say whether Mary was sinful or “holy.” Mary was an ordinary person, just like you and me. In Luke 1: 6 it is written about Zechariah and Elizabeth:
6This couple lived the life that is right for God, faithfully obeying all the laws and commandments of the Lord.
Concerning Mary, it is only mentioned in Luke 1:27:
27 The angel carried a message to a virgin who had a wedding engaged with a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Her name was Maria.
Like everything in Jesus’ passage through this world we can draw some lessons from these accounts. From Zechariah and Elizabeth we can see that God is prepared not only to fulfill our requests but also to give us more than we ask when we are faithful to Him. What happened to this couple had already happened to Abraham and Sarah, who also feared and they trusted in God and were blessed with Isaac.
Whoever trusts in God and obeys his commandments will always be surprised by Him!
Returning to the couple Joseph and Mary, we read that they did not pray for children, since they were not even married. However, God presented this family with an extraordinary blessing that was not expected. Joseph and Mary were ordinary people and would have passed the unnoticed world were it not for the divine interference that, electing them as instruments of God, blessed us all!
Now let’s take a closer look at the situation: if today a young virgin tells her fiancé that she is pregnant, how will he react? And the parents of this girl, will they accept it quietly?
Brethren, let us examine our minds and think: are we prepared for God to do something extraordinary in our lives?
When the angel came and told Mary that God would do something for her, she at first doubted (Luke 1:34), but the angel comforted her by giving the exact explanation of how the conception would come (Luke 1:35) and also told the which was already happening with Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary (Luke 1:36).
Notice how perfect God’s plan is in the life of those who trust in Him! First God blesses an old couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, with an extraordinary son; then use this blessing to calm Mary. And the Bible says that Mary went to Elizabeth’s house and stayed there for three months (Luke 1:56). It was sheltered from the judgments of society. She was safe, because Isabel also had received a miracle! Mary gave herself to God.
Now we must remember Joseph the bridegroom.
Matthew 1: 18-20
The birth of Jesus Christ was like this: Mary, her mother, was going to marry Joseph. But before marriage she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19José, with whom Mary was to marry, was a man who always did what was right. He did not want to defame Maria and so he decided to break up the marriage contract without anyone knowing. 20 While Joseph was thinking about it, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
– Joseph, a descendant of David, do not be afraid to receive Mary as his wife, for she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Here we see Joseph’s humility: instead of being angry at the alleged betrayal of Mary, he simply decides to break the engagement without alarm. Of course, even being a betrayal, Mary would suffer the consequences, but they would not be consequences for the revenge of Joseph.
Matthew 1: 24-25
24When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded and married Mary. 25 But he had no intercourse with her until the child was born. And Joseph put the name of Jesus on the boy.
Once again we see God taking care of everything! Was it easy? Did Joseph’s friends support him? Was he the victim of “jokes”? We do not know, but we are sure that he was God-fearing, and that the Lord sent his angel 3 times so that all involved were comfortable with the extraordinary blessing they received. Joseph also gave himself up to God!
When we trust God, He takes care of everything,
Brethren, it is not simple, but we must train our trust in God. So when He decides to do something extraordinary in us, we will know how to receive in peace, for it is written in Romans 8:28,
28For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to whom he hath called according to his plan.
My Lord, thank you for comforting us in our afflictions and supporting us when we receive your blessings in an extraordinary way. May we be attentive to your signs and may surrender ourselves to your care by trusting fully in the Lord. Amen.