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Only God knows why He chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, but one thing we know is that there was nothing random about it. He had Mary in His mind before the creation of the world. After mankind sinned in Genesis 3, God immediately promised to send the Savior through a woman.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15).
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Mary had found favor with God. Like all of us, she was a sinner, but had an extra ordinary heart toward God. She had a track record of being obedient to whatever God asked her to do. She was humble knowing that all things come for God for His glory and not her own. No matter what the cost, Mary was willing to fulfill God’s call on her life.
“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled by his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 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 forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on 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” (Luke 1:28-35).
She was an ordinary small-town 13 to 15-year-old peasant girl who loved God and was obedient and courageous in how she lived out her faith. She was a follower of the law and therefore chose to remain a virgin until married to Joseph. Being a virgin was extremely important because the conception of God’s Son must be by the Holy Spirit because the sin nature is passed down through fathers. (Exodus 34.7, Isaiah 43:27, Job 21:19)
When Mary became pregnant, she was pledged to be married to Joseph. When he learned of her pregnancy, he thought it must have been by someone else and therefore considered divorcing Mary for her infidelity. God interceded by sending an angel to speak directly to Joseph.
“When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, Son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:18-21)
David Jeremiah writes, “Mary was favored by God for a task that would finally allow each of us to be favored. Gabriel said, “The Lord is with you,” and as a result, the Lord is with us all. In that way, God sent the ultimate Christmas gift not just to Mary but to all of us—and it was Mary who delivered the package. When God chose her to be the mother of Jesus, her only observable qualifications were traits like humility, obedience, courage, faith, and moral purity. Such qualities are often overlooked or even belittled by society, but they equipped Mary for God’s service.”
It is essential to understand that although Mary was an amazing young woman and the mother of Jesus, she was also in need of a Savior. Because the penalty for sin is death, God sent His Son into the world to die so that those who believe would be given the gift of eternal life with God in Heaven. One can only imagine Mary’s thoughts as she prepared to give birth and raise God’s Son, Jesus, whom she would someday follow and worship as Her Savior.
Mary knew that being pregnant before she was married would ostracize her from her family, friends and perhaps even Joseph. No cost was too great for her.
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:46-50).
Why did God choose Mary? When we study the person of Mary, we begin to get a glimpse of why he chose her to have the honor of being the Savior’s mother. Perhaps the most telling sign was Mary’s response to Gabriel, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
What about us? God wants to use all of us in unique ways to further His Kingdom. He often asks us to do difficult things that require sacrifice and perseverance. When Almighty God calls us to an assignment beyond our understanding, might we have the courage to respond as Mary did, “Let it be according to your word.”