Read Luke 1:26-38.
Did you know that Mary was only a teenager when Gabriel arrived to tell her that she was going to have a baby? Or that she lived in a community where everybody knew everybody’s business–and she had always been a “good girl?” How about the fact that she lived in a time when you could be stoned for getting pregnant outside of marriage? How do you think she responded to the angel’s news? How would you respond?
Mary was afraid! In verse 29, it says that she was greatly troubled at the angel’s appearance. The angel had to tell her specifically not to fear, because God was pleased with her. Mary was troubled because she knew that she was about to face some really tough stuff.
Mary’s reputation and life weren’t the only things at stake. She was also about to get married, for crying out loud! But now Joseph would think that she had betrayed him. And if he wanted, he could publicly humiliate her by divorcing her and breaking their betrothal. No one would blame him; after all, everyone would think she was at fault.
This is what Mary was dealing with when the angel visited her and told her that she would be the mother of Jesus. She was afraid, because she knew that her life was about to change dramatically. She faced the possibility of everyone in her life turning on her—friends, family, future husband. Her whole life was suddenly shattered; all her plans had changed in an instant.
But Mary did not despair. She listened to what the angel said. She let it sink in. And then she said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let everything happen to me just like you have said.”
In his book The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey says, “Often a work of God comes with two edges, great joy and great pain, and in that matter-of-fact response Mary embraced both. She was the first person to accept Jesus on His own terms, regardless of the personal cost.”
Mary didn’t get to pick and choose how Jesus would affect her life. She simply said yes and trusted God, no matter what it might cost. The same thing is required of us today. How will you respond to what Jesus wants to do with your life?