Jesus Chooses His Mother: Part II

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; 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 therewill be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her,”The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also concieved a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God, nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said,” Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.   Luke 1:32-38   

Mary asked, “How can this be…?” She isn’t questioning God’s ability to give her a son, but inquiring as to how. “Since I have no husband,” in the Greek reads “I do not know man” referring to her virginal status. Her concern is not that she is unmarried but that she is a virgin and intending to remain one. She wonders aloud to the angel, how God will bless her with a son and at the same time preserve her virginal purity. Nothing in Gabriel’s announcement should have puzzled her, she was already engaged to Joseph, unless she intended to abstain from ordinary sexual relations even as a married woman. Early Church Fathers like St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Augustine teach, Mary had previously taken a vow of lifelong virginity.

The expression used by the Angel Gabriel “overshadow you” is the same expression used in the Greek version of Exodus 40:35; it describes how the Lord God “overshadowed” the Tabernacle, making it His dwelling place in Israel (episkiasei – to cast a shade upon, envelop in a haze of brilliancy, to invest with preternatural influence, overshadow). This is why many Church Fathers compare her or, type her as the “Ark of the New Covenant.” Within the Ark of the Old Covenant was manna, the rod of Aaron and the tablets of the Law, written by the finger of God. Within Mary was contained, “The Bread from Heaven”, The Great High Priest, and the Word of God made flesh.

Marys response to all this was, “I am the handmaid (servant) of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary knew who she was in God’s sight and freely chose to submit to His plan. She is the first great example of faith in Christ in the New Testament. An example we would all do well to follow.

“…let it be to me according to Your word.”

2 Responses

  1. I have truly enjoyed your writings. It helped me very much in a time of questions about the virgen mary.

  2. Thank you Veronica! I’m glad God uses me in this way.

    Bless you.

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