For nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
Mary (English), or Miriam (Hebrew), or Maryam (Arabic) was between 14 and 16 years old when she uttered the most significant statement of faith in history:
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38, ESV).
We all know what happened before this confession of faith.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth, announcing, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” Mary’s response was that she was greatly troubled trying to understand this greeting.
To which Gabriel, knowing Mary’s thoughts, answered …
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:30-33, ESV).
Mary then had a question …
How will this be, since I am a virgin?
And Gabriel had an answer and considering his answer, it could have confused the matter even more for Mary …
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God … for nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:35 & 37).
We could imagine Mary had these thoughts …
I live in a small village, and I’m 15 years old. An angel is talking to me and just said that I’m going to have a baby. I’m a virgin, but the angel says that the Spirit of God will “overshadow me.” When this happens, will I ruin the reputation of my family? Will my fiancé still marry me, and will my baby be considered illegitimate?
But Mary didn’t have these thoughts and said to Gabriel …
May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).
Mary’s statement indicates a quick and emphatic response with little doubt. Yes, she might have been confused as to exactly how, but she knew God. She agreed without hesitation.
Considering Mary’s circumstances, we might ask, “How did a 15-year-old village girl have such great faith?” We know that in a similar circumstance we would have had questions and doubts.
I believe the Greek language gives us a clue.
Some translators interpret Luke 1:27 as “nothing will be impossible with God,” but other translations say, “For no word of God will ever fail.”
Mary had been raised on the Word of God.
In the time of Jesus, women could enter the synagogue to be taught scripture. And from an early age, Mary knew the prophecies about Jesus being born of a virgin from the writings of Isaiah …
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
To Mary, it wasn’t a new idea that a virgin would give birth to the Messiah; in fact, all the Jews knew this. What was new to Mary was that she would be that virgin.
When we consider Mary and our lives, all of us have a calling that will require the impossible. Whether or not we say “yes” in faith or withdraw in doubt will depend on one thing …
Whether or not we believe scripture when it says, “No word of God will ever fail.”
Mary had been taught the truth of the Word of God and the prophecies of Isaiah her entire life.
Note from Pastor Grant: In preparation for Christmas, I’m writing several Interruptions entitled “Prophetic.” Interruption #810 is Prophetic Bethlehem, and this Interruption is Prophetic Mary. I’m explaining why many of the events of Jesus’ birth are prophetic, having been predicted in scripture hundreds of years before His birth.