Are you willing to sacrifice your own comfort in order to obey God? We are very quick to answer yes on this question, but when it comes to the point where we have to choose between our own comfort and the call of God many people fail.
Mary was not such a person. Her calling was a high calling, she had found much grace and favour with God (Luke 1:28, 30), and many would probably wish to be in her shoes. But it’s rather rarely we think about the actual circumstances Mary faced. It is easy for us to think that anyone would have responded as she did if we were asked to give birth to, and bring up the son of God. But it was not that easy for Mary. She would go through a difficult test and a lot of hardships.
If we look at the society in those times, we can see that the punishment for being found with a child before marriage was nothing other than death. If Mary would get a complaint, she would have been stoned, just as the woman in John 8. Another punishment was to strip her of all her clothes and publicly humiliate her so that every young woman in the city would see it and know the seriousness of breaking the holy law.
Mary was just about to be categorized among those kind of women, even though she had done nothing wrong. But the amazing and astonishing thing about Mary in this story was her inner strength and love for God. She didn’t care about her reputation. We are so careful about our reputation many times. Way too careful!
There was another law that said that Joseph had full right to divorce her, and if we read Matthew’s gospel we can see that he was going to, until an angel showed up and told him not to! An unmarried woman at that time would not have much of a future, her future would mainly consist of begging on the streets.
How could she explain what was growing in her stomach, and how it came there? “It’s just Gods son, the salvation of the world…. an angel told me”.. “God told me”.. ?
But even though the circumstances looked as they did, Mary chose to obey the Lord “I am the Lords maidservant” (v. 38). She responded not by hiding away and weeping, but with a worship song to The Lord! Her words: “My soul magnifies the Lord”, (46) and “from today onwards all generations will call me blessed” (48) still carries the amazing faith of this woman of God.
If we look at her life from that day onwards, we can see a young girl who remained steadfast to the Lord even to the cross. Mary was one of two people who stood under the cross till the very last breath of Jesus. During her whole life she kept her commitment to God, and she was with Jesus to the end.
In John 2:5 we read the words of Mary to the disciples of Jesus: “Whatever he says to you, do it”.. That is literally what Mary herself lived out. Whatever God told her, even if it costed her life, she would do it, and she is telling you the same thing today: “Whatever he says to you, do it“. Will you do it wholeheartedly?