August 4, 2008

Mary's Faith and Zechariah in Luke 1

As I was reading Luke chapter one tonight, I noticed that a major point of this chapter is faith. It is mainly about the coming of the Messiah, but it begins by affirming the certainty of the word of Christ as it had been taught by His eye-witnesses. It then tells of Zechariah's priestly service and his vision of the angel Gabriel. Since Zechariah doubted the word of the Lord from Gabriel, he was struck dumb until his son John was to be born. So that was the first example of a lack of faith. Elizabeth, his wife, soon conceived and the word of the Lord proved to be true.

Next, Mary appeared on the scene as the angel, Gabriel, flew (or so I suppose he flew, it actually only says he was "sent from God") to Nazareth and told her of God's will to bring forth Jesus from her. Mary's response was one of humble faith.

See Luke 1:26-56

[The Angel, Gabriel ended his message to Mary by saying]: "For nothing will be impossible with God."
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the Angel departed from her. (Luke 1:37-38 ESV).

[Elizabeth spoke of Mary's faith when they met]: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Luke 1:45 ESV).

Mary is an example of faith in the absolute certainty of the truth of God's word. Are you trusting the faithfulness of the word of the Lord - the Bible? Are you trusting in the Author and the Perfecter of faith - Jesus Christ? As it is written, "And without faith it is impossible to please [God]..." (Hebrews 11:6a ESV). And may I add that faith is a gift of grace from God, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship..." (Ephesians 2:8-10a ESV). So there you have it, faith is a gift of grace, and it rests assured in the truth of God's word about Christ. And something else I noticed was that the chapter ends with a burst of overflowing praise to God, as Zechariah's heart was filled with faith in the promises of His word and their fulfillment.

May we be found resting in Christ Jesus and His absolutely, positively, certainly, sure word of truth, just like Mary (who was His humble servant and chosen vessel) and like Zechariah who needed some grace for his doubts (and by the way, his son's name, John, means "Jehovah favors." It is all of grace). Grace be with you.

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