December 20 I Monday
“The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…[the] Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God....For with God nothing will be impossible.” —Luke 1:35-37, NKJV
There are three stages in a marriage amongst Jewish people. The first stage is the engagement, which is when the couple are usually assigned to each other by their parents. The second stage is the betrothal period, which is a legal recognition of the engagement. Finally, the third stage happens a year later, where the couple will have the wedding and be fully married. A Jewish girl could be betrothed as young as 12, and most by the age of 16.
When Mary was visited by an angel, we could assume she was a teenager, even though we do not know her precise age. She was betrothed to Joseph, and not yet married. The betrothal could only be broken by divorce, which was why later, Joseph contemplated divorcing Mary when he found her with child. Although they were not actually married, the betrothal was a legally binding commitment.
The angel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33). What a marvelous description the angel gave Mary of the child she was going to bear!
Afterwards, Mary asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). The question, “How?” is one that God hears frequently and one that He is not afraid to answer. It does not matter under what circumstances we ask God “How?”, He only has one answer to that question and His answer is always the same every time. The angel told Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). The sum of the answer is found in Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (NKJV).
What would happen to Mary was impossible for her, but nothing is impossible for God. The Holy Spirit would bring about what He had promised. It was not Mary’s job to think hard enough on how she was going to reproduce. What God required of Mary—and of us—was not her ability but her availability. If all God required was our ability, everything would be explained in terms of us; it would be a natural explanation. But when we give God our availability, something bigger than our ability happens, and the only explanation for it is God was at work in that situation.
Prayer: Dear God, with You nothing is impossible. I make myself wholly available to You. Help grow my faith to trust in Your ability. Thank You, God.