Christians often make two mistakes about Mary. Either they emphasize her too much or they think of Mary too little.
From the standpoint of the biblical record both of these are mistakes.
This is what Mary wasn’t.
She wasn’t sinless. She wasn’t our redemptress. She wasn’t at the center of the biblical story. In fact, Mary isn’t mentioned in the New Testament after the early chapters of Acts–a clear indication that she is not to be worshiped.
While Mary was not at the center of the New Testament, she most definitely was a woman of faith. She exhibited that faith in surrendering to the will of the heavenly Father. Mary should be one of our examples of a submissive wife and a loving mother. Mary was first submissive to God and then to Joseph.
What can we learn about faith from Mary?
First, faith does not mean that we don’t have questions or difficulties. Mary asked the angel: “How will this be?” The angel answered that “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1: 35). This did not answer Mary’s question of how a virgin could conceive, but it supplied her with what she needed. God would be at work within her. Mary could be content because she trusted God.
Second, we can only “see” after we have believed. Mary got to see the truth of what the angel said but only after nine months had passed. In my life, I have seen that God does not give us definitive answers until we have walked in faith. After we have been faithful, we get to see the fruit of our faith.
Third, faith does not resolve all difficulty. Running from the wrath of Herod the Great is not exactly a picture of health and wealth, yet Joseph and Mary listened to God and did what He told them.
Finally, faith is simple obedience to God’s word and trust that God will always lead the way.
I thank God for the beautiful picture of this young woman of faith.
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