Life often doesn’t make sense. People, circumstances, and timing can lead us to wonder what God is doing. In the early part of the 1st century, the Jewish people still talked of the Messiah’s coming, but generations had come and gone without seeing Him. Eventually the plans were clearly revealed (Luke 1:26-56) and there are some helpful things in the story for us when we start wondering.
- First – We’re often tempted to assume He’s going to work in a certain way
Either by relying on past experiences or just old fashioned pride, I can quickly formulate a plan of action I think God would like. The obvious problem is God doesn’t need my advice to coordinate events in His universe. During the years leading up to Christ’s birth, Jewish leaders had crafted a well-defined picture of what would take place once the Messiah arrived. Their ideas mostly centered on getting rid of Rome and restoring something anchored in the past. So much so that it crippled many people’s ability to see Jesus as the promised One. If I’m not careful I can do the same in my personal life by focusing on a blueprint I’ve drawn, instead of Him.
- Second – The scope of our vision is usually limited
When the angel spoke in verses 32-33, he redefined what the Kingdom would look like. Mary probably didn’t grasp it all at the beginning, but are we ever really able to comprehend what God is doing?
Consider the magnificent words Gabriel spoke:
“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 David forever,
and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Instead of a vision drawn from the inkwell of geo-political unrest, God painted a picture of a glorious kingdom transcending time and space. If I’m not careful, I will let my personal image of God be limited to earthly concepts, instead of biblical ones. His working is so much better and longer-lasting than something I’ve dreamed up.
- Third – Strength is drawn from time shared with others who trust Him
In verses 36-45 we see Mary visiting Elizabeth and sharing a tremendous moment of mutual encouragement. They both had experienced incredible encounters with God by way of His angel Gabriel, but the story was just starting and it would be a unique journey. There’s something about spending time with people of strong faith that affirms our spirit and builds us up. As a man, I need to purposely be among men who spiritually lead their family, who love their wives selflessly and who offer counsel biblically.
The passage ends with Mary’s song repeating a theme of “He has…” (Luke 1:46-55) What a great thought. When I stop and consider God’s work in my life, I can’t help but think about things like how “He has…shown great mercy to me” and how “He has…always proved faithful!” What about you? Do you have any “He has…” moments…chances are you do.
Series: Thoughts on Luke – Luke 1:26-56