One of the hardest experiences that we face is the adoption into a new scheme or role with reference to the set guidelines, that is, commitment to a thing that is contrary to the rules we are used to and that have dire consequences once broken. Mary the mother of Jesus found herself in such a situation.
She was of Jewish origin. She subscribed to the Mosaic law that punished them that had sex before marriage by stoning. She, being a female, had to be committed to purity even more. Upon receiving the news concerning her getting pregnancy, she asks a question of “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”(Luke 1:34).
Mary risked a couple of things from her conversation with angel Gabriel in Luke chapter 1: first she risked being stoned for getting pregnant before consummation of their marriage since she was just betrothed to Joseph. Secondly reputation is of importance to the people from East and thus the reputation of the family was at stake. Lastly she risked being divorced, by Joseph, if the stoning would not have taken place, which was their custom – breaking a betrothal was by divorce. It was a hard task trying to explain the mode through which she became pregnant.
Mary, in her response, must balance between the law, the role/ responsibility and the outcome/ consequences. At last she would have to take a risk to honour the responsibility and role midst the law and its outcome. Imagine explaining to Rabbis that she is carrying the son of God, that she is pregnant through HolySpirit, that regardless of the pregnant she is sexually pure amongst other questions smashed upon her. Introducing the Trinity: that God the Father chose her to carry the son, Jesus Christ through HolyGhost to these teachers of the law was not a walk in the park. These were real questions demanding real answers.
She was certain with the word of the angel that this was the real deal. She had to accept the call to be the medium through which God would physically come to the world. She counted her cost. Mathew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mathew 10:38-40 He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me. He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. She preferred to face the consequences and was ready to advance the goal and vision of the master regardless of the risk that it would have costed her. You and I are often times faced by such situations and we are torn apart as to what really should we do. There are moments that we are faced by life, career, family, friendship, social, economic, etc threatening situations whereby the door of making decisions stops at us and there is no way to bypass it. Not forgetting we are aware of the law and set guidelines, our responsibility and the thereof consequences. We, being believers in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus by faith are but called to do that which is truthful, right and pleasing before God. The response of Mary stands true: Luke 1:38… “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.”…The development of the occurrence of events is that Mary and Joseph went through their gestation period, gave birth and so on and so on true to angel Gabriel’s word. There comes no time when we shall be wrong in doing the right thing. The Bible says: 1Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Going contrary to the traditions of men, society, etc when weighed against the conviction from the Bible will summon our attention to the threats and repercussions which we must rise over and above in knowing that he who started good work in us will ultimately bring it to a conclusion. 2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. I will presume she knew the law and at that particular moment when she was conversing with Gabriel, the opportunity wasn’t long lasting for her to make the decision. She must also have heard the prophecies about the coming of the messiah. She had to make a decision. Similarly, we will be faced with such circumstances and what will count is the conviction to follow and act in truth. Based on God’s word, we will have to allow it to speak to us and authorize the course to take, say, act upon, execute and implement. For anything contrary to God’s word is all but fall from Grace.