And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.Luke 1:38
One last detail of this passage gives us an example of how to respond to God’s plan of redemption. There is a third “behold” in this passage. The first “behold” was told to Mary by Gabriel when she was told how she was favored by God to carry Jesus. The second “behold” was told to Mary by Gabriel when he was sharing with her about Elisabeth’s conception in her old age.
This time Mary says “behold” to Gabriel and declares herself “the handmaid of the Lord”. The word translated “handmaid” is the female form of the word for “slave”. Mary describes herself as the slave of the Lord. She is fulling submitting to the task that has been assigned to her. Her response to God is complete surrender to what He wants her to do.
Taking on the responsibility would not be easy. You have the normal burden of childbearing that is challenging enough. Mary would also have to do this in a culture where unwed pregnancy was the source of all kinds of shame in the community. Certainly, her relationship with her betrothed would be at risk. She must have had so many questions. When I start to show, what do I say? What will my parents think? What will Joseph think? Will he end our engagement? How will I raise the Son of God without a husband and father?
It is not wrong for her to have these kinds of questions, especially when her first response in those questions having is “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” All the other concerns were coming under the umbrella of her submission to God.
What an incredible example to us! We can certainly see evidence in the life of Mary that she was a wise choice for this task. If it is true that God initiated the plan of redemption, became flesh so that he could purchase our redemption, and does the impossible as part of his plan, then we He calls on us to be used in that plan the only right response is submission. That God would choose to use any of us is evidence of His incredible grace and mercy in our lives.
- If you are lost, know that God is calling on you to be redeemed. God sent Jesus to die for you and rise again. Submit to His plan and be saved today!
- Believer, God wants to use You. Who is God asking you to talk to about Him? Let us submit to God’s will for our lives.
- May we respond to God today in this way: “Behold, the servant of the Lord. Be it according to Your Word!”