Can you imagine how Mary felt becoming a mother to Jesus? For years, it was told that a Savior was coming to Israel. However, no one knew who would have the special privilege of being the one who gave birth to the Savior. Yet, God knew. He had a plan, a plan for a virgin named Mary.
Now, Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary to reveal that He had chosen her to give birth to the Savior. Gabriel appeared to Mary as God instructed. When Gabriel appeared to Mary, he greeted her and called her favored one. Mary was concerned, a little confused by what Gabriel said. Then, Gabriel told her not to be afraid and explained that she would have a son and call him Jesus. The angel went on to tell her that Jesus would have rule over the house of Jacob (the kingdom of Israel) forever. This confused Mary because she was a virgin. She had never been with a man. The angel explained that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her, and Jesus would become a baby in her womb. Because of how the Holy Spirit would come to her, Jesus would be holy, never knowing sin. Next, the angel told her that her cousin Elizabeth, who was old and had never had a child previously, was pregnant. He told Mary that nothing was impossible for God. After the angel said this, Mary accepted what he said. Then, the angel left.
Not long after the visit from the angel, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary greeted her cousin Elizabeth, the baby leaped in her cousin’s womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice that Mary was blessed among all women, that her womb was blessed, and that she was blessed for believing what God said. In response, Mary praised God.
Source: Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26-56
- How do you feel when someone tells you that something good is going to happen, but it seems like it is taking too long to happen? Why do you feel this way?
- It had been prophesied long before Mary’s time that Jesus was going to be born. How do you think the people before Mary felt when they didn’t see Jesus appear in their lifetime?
- Mary didn’t seem afraid of the angel, but she was concerned by what the angel was telling her. Why do you believe she was concerned by what he said? Would you have been concerned?
- Mary had several questions. Do you think it is okay to ask God questions if He is giving you a message? Why or why not?
- Mary didn’t seem concerned by what people would say about her and her situation although she was unmarried and pregnant. Do you think people today become concerned by what people say, even though God wants them to do the task? Why or why not?
- As a way of assuring Mary that what he said was true, the angel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant. How did Mary react, and would you have done the same?
- Share an example of a time when you wanted to make sure something was true. How did you verify that it was true?
- Mary was called blessed because she was chosen, because of whom she carried in her womb, and because she chose to believe God. How would you feel if God chose you to carry out a special assignment? Do you think you would have the faith to say yes to Him? What concerns would you have?
What does the bible say about being faithful and serving God? Discuss.
- Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24 ESV
- I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. John 17:4 ESV
- I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12 ESV
- Your response to God expresses your level of faith.
- When God chooses you for a task, He knows you can do it. That’s why you were chosen.
- The first step to great faith is saying yes.
Father God, may our hearts be like Mary when she said yes to the special assignment you gave to her. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
What does God want you to say yes to? Say yes, and move forward in faith.
What did you learn, and how can you apply it to your life?