If one wonders why an ordinary teenage girl like Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, it can be summed up in one word: Surrendered. She was a woman completely surrendered to the will of God in her life, and you see it here in this passage.
Six months after appearing to Zechariah, Gabriel appears to Mary, and says,
Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. (28)
Despite Gabriel’s words, Mary is troubled wondering what was going on. So Gabriel said,
Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name 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 the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (30-33)
Mary could not mistake what the angel was saying. All young women prayed that their child would be the Messiah. But she had a very logical question.
How will this be…since I am a virgin? (34)
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (35)
At this point, some people will say, “Come on. Virgin birth? You don’t really believe that, do you?”
But in this day of modern medicine, we see it all the time. When a couple is infertile, a doctor will take the husband’s sperm and inject it into the woman’s womb. In some cases, they inject the sperm right into the egg. Are we seriously going to say that God can’t do what human doctors can?
Gabriel knew, however, this was a lot to swallow, and so she told Mary, “Go to your relative Elizabeth. Everyone told her that she would never get pregnant. But now she is. With God nothing is impossible.”
With these words, Mary said,
May it be to me as you have said. (38)
No more arguments. No more objections. Just surrender.
But think about this for a minute. By surrendering to God, she was risking much. She was risking her reputation with her family and neighbors. She was risking her upcoming wedding to Joseph. And she was even risking her life. By law, Joseph could have had her stoned (though admittedly, this rarely happened by Jesus’ day).
After all, who would believe that God was responsible for making her pregnant?
But Mary said, “If this is what you want God, I’m willing. No matter the cost.”
She had no guarantees from God. He never promised to preserve her upcoming wedding. He never promised to preserve her reputation.
But she believed in her heart that God was good, and that his plans were good. More than that, she said, “I am yours. I am your servant. Do what you will.”
That’s a heart of surrender. And because she was surrendered, God was able to do great things through her.
How about you? Are you surrendered to God? Are you willing to let everything go in order to follow him?