Summary: What can we learn from a teenager? What can we learn from her faith? What can we learn from Mary the mother of Jesus?
What can we learn from a teenager? What can we learn from her faith? What can we learn from Mary the mother of Jesus?
Purpose: Let’s learn about the simplicity of trust in God.
Plan: Let’s look at Luke 1:26-38, the so-called Annunciation, the announcement to Mary of her pregnancy with the Christ child and her example of faith.
Luke 1:26-28 Elizabeth & Mary
Luke 1:26 says, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth.” This was Elizabeth’s 6th month of pregnancy with John. It is the only indication we have that John was 6 months older than Jesus. Mary and Elizabeth were related. Some translations of verse 36 say they were cousins, but the original Greek word simply means a relative. Verse 28 says, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Highly favored one is sometimes translated “full of grace” but more accurately portrays Mary as a receiver of grace than the “Mother of Grace.”
Luke 1:29-30 A Virgin
Mary was a virgin engaged to Joseph. It was common custom, so it’s possible that Mary was probably a teenager. She was greatly troubled at the words of the angel. So he comforted her saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” How great an example of faith can a teenager be? To be an unwed mother during her engagement period would have been a great scandal. What would her parents think? What would her groom think? What would the neighborhood gossip be? Would her child forever be called illegitimate? How could this be favor with God? The reassuring words of the angel were puzzling.
[Philip King & Lawrence Stager. Life in Biblical Israel. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2001. 37.]
Luke 1:31-33 You will Conceive
Luke 1:31 continues, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son.” Imagine being a teenage girl engaged to be married in a year. An angel appears to you in your parents’ home and tells you that you will bear the Savior of the world while a virgin. You are young and inexperienced in life. You are unsure of yourself. You are in a quandary whether your betrothed will still want to marry you. You wonder if people in your village will reject you. You are unsure what your own parents will say, but you have that innocent faith of young people. What will Mary say?
Luke 34-38 Mary’s Faith
In Luke 1:37 we read, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” An alternative translation seems to make more sense. “For from God no word shall be impossible.” In verse 38 Mary replied to the angel, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary chose to have faith instead of unbelief or complaining as Israel did. When we complain we are looking to visible circumstances instead of our invisible God. Instead of letting God be in control, we want to take control instead of waiting on his mighty hand. Do we complain or simply accept God at His word like Mary did?
We can learn a lot from the teenage girl who bore the Christ child.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.