Monday, December 22, 2014

According to Your Word

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
“In the beginning,” according to the book of Genesis, “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). He spoke, and whatever He spoke came to be, and He saw that it was good. The author of Hebrews tells us, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

“In the beginning,” according to the Gospel of John, “was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:-3).

One day God spoke His word, through the angel Gabriel, to a young woman named Mary, a virgin who was promised in marriage to a man named Joseph: “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28).

When Mary saw the angel, she was very apprehensive, and she had no idea what to make of the angel’s greeting. So then the angel said,
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (vv. 29-33)
Then Mary asked a very significant question: “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (v. 34). It wasn’t that she did not believe. It was simply that she did not understand. So the angel answered:
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible. (vv. 35-37)
The Holy Spirit would “overshadow” Mary. Like the Spirit of God brooding over the surface of the deep at creation (Genesis 1:2). Both the Hebrew and Greek words for “spirit” can also mean “breath” or “wind.” We may think of the Holy Spirit as the “Holy Breath” of God. Like the breath God puffed into Adam’s nostrils, and Adam became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). Or the breath the Lord Jesus puffed on the disciples in the upper room after His resurrection from the dead, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). We may also think of the Holy Spirit as the divine “breath” or “wind” that carried the Old Testament prophets along so that they were able to speak words from God (2 Peter 1:21). For “all Scripture is God-breathed,” Paul tells us (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).

This same Holy Spirit would come upon Mary, brooding and breathing and blowing, and the Word who was with God in the beginning, and by whom all things were created, would become flesh and receive humanity from her and be born into the world.

Mary consented to the Word that was spoken by God through the angelic visitor, yielding herself to the Father, to the Word and to the Holy Spirit. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).

Now the Father speaks that same Word to us through the Holy Spirit and reveals the Lord Jesus Christ, who has triumphed over the world through the Cross and the Resurrection. And the Word Himself speaks and says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Let us, then, say with the Virgin Mary, “Let it be to me according to your word.”

Let Earth Receive Her King
Let Earth Receive Her King
Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom of God
by Jeff Doles

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Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

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