Mary was the first – the very first to hear His name.
For decades, God’s people waited for the Messiah. We can almost hear the debates that took place at the synagogues as well as in the fishing boats. They speculated about when He would come and where He would come. And His name? Certainly people made their guesses. But Mary was the first to actually hear it.
You must name Him Jesus. – Luke 1:31
Jesus. Of course. “The one true God saves.” What other name could it be?
With wide eyes, Mary soaked in the plan, and in the quiet of her meager home, she knew the secret that scholars had debated for centuries. Who could have imagined: Almighty God entrusted a humble girl with not only this news, but with the very life of the newborn Messiah. There would be no hospital, no doctor, and not even her mother at her side–only an inexperienced young carpenter named Joseph. But God would be with them.
Mary was no one special. She wasn’t royalty; she wasn’t rich or famous. But the angel assured her that God was pleased with her. Hebrews 11:6 explains that faith–believing God–is what pleases Him. Mary’s faith was astounding; her response was total submission to her Lord.
I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true. – Luke 1: 38
The story continues with Joseph, the unassuming young man whose highest ambition was probably little more than crafting a decent living for himself and his new fiancé; the aged Elizabeth and Zechariah who had given up all hope of ever having a child of their own; and the shepherds who spent their days and nights tenderly caring for sheep in the fields. (Perhaps the shepherds understood the gravity of God’s plan more than anyone–year after year, they watched as their most prized sheep were carried off toward the temple where they would give their lives for the sins of a wayward people.)
These were all people of faith who learned first-hand that God graciously invites people who believe in Him to be a part of His plan. This is a beautiful truth to pass on to our kids. We don’t earn a thing. We don’t trust in our own strength. We simply believe the Lord. We listen intently for His voice and say “yes” when He calls.