The Least Likely
Luke 1:26-30 (NIV) 26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
In the Bible, the angel Gabriel is associated with bringing special messages from God to people. In this case he visits Mary, a little girl of about 12 to 14 years living in a small and despised town of Nazareth. Very little is known about Mary. Her parents are not even mentioned. The only relative of hers that we know is Elizabeth (see verse 36), the mother of John the Baptist. Of all people, why did God choose Mary to be the one who would be the mother to the Savior of the world? Why did God bypass the noble and the rich? Well, it was for the same reason God chose you and me—undeserving yet chosen by God. This is grace! We do not deserve it but we need it. Touched by divine royalty, Mary would from now henceforth never remain the same again. Heaven has spoken over her. She is highly favored. God is with her (verse 28).
I have no idea how her peers treated her prior to this experience. I don’t know if anyone in her neighborhood had ever taken note of her—her beauty, humility, faith or integrity. But who cares about what people think? Mary has “found favor with God” (verse 30), and this is what really counts. When grace visits you, your past, your background, people’s opinions about you become inconsequential. When grace visits it surprises us because we least expect it. We are certainly not qualified for it because it is not deserved.
Take time to thank God who, through Jesus Christ, has visited us with His grace.