This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Imagine how you’d feel if you learned you’d become pregnant without sex. From the account in Luke, an angel visited Mary and told her she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Mary was a good girl, a young woman of honor who lived her life in Godly ways and became engaged to a morally upright man named Joseph. According to Martin Luther, two miracles occurred here. The angel told Mary what was to happen, and Mary believed.
Cue in on that last sentence. It was a miracle that Mary believed. People of that time, in Anno Domini, weren’t so different from us. Some, mainly religious scholars, knew that a virgin would give birth to a child, but nobody outside Mary, Joseph, Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, and maybe her husband, Zechariah, recognized it when it happened. We don’t know of anyone else who did: not Mary’s family, not her friends, not the men in their Nazareth synagogue; nobody. Even those few who knew probably questioned.
And still, Mary believed. She believed what the angel had told her, and she obeyed God.
Who of us would do that today? Most people don’t believe in God. Most non-Christians look at this story as a myth, as an impossibility. Let’s face it: by the measure of the world, it IS an impossibility. Life is created through sex, and Mary had never had sex. But, you know, if God can speak all of creation into existence, then overcoming biological procreation isn’t difficult. He’s God. Of course He did this.
Most of the world didn’t realize it had happened. Most of the world, then and now, disagreed that it would, or could, happen. Most of the world would, did, and does reject Mary’s Son, Jesus Christ. Some things never change.
Yet imagine how it must have felt to Mary in real time. She hadn’t asked for this; she didn’t know it was coming. She was simply a young woman, likely no more than a teenager, living her life in the poor town of Nazareth. Accepting God’s plan and submitting to His will didn’t mean Mary wasn’t sometimes scared, overwhelmed, didn’t wonder what was going to happen to her. Imagine how you would feel. To be honest, I can’t even imagine.
And still Mary believed. She believed that God was working a miracle through her. That He was keeping, in her lifetime, in her body, a promise He had made to Adam and Eve. That He was doing the greatest of all great things, and that all the rest of time would be changed because of it. Mary believed.
For more reading: Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:23-45, Matthew 1:19
Father, thank You for the story of Mary, and how she believed Your word and Your promise.