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Mary: Submissive, Joyful, Pondering

(Luke 1:26-30,38,46-49; 2:9-11,19)

Lesson 4 -- first quarter 2003
December 22, 2002

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications


Mary did not have an exalted view of herself. Otherwise, her response to the angel might well have been along the lines of, "Yes, I know." Instead, the angel's greeting puzzled her. But she didn't allow her lack of understanding to get in the way of her availability. She simply wanted to be looked on as the Lord's servant, humbly adding: "Be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38).

We can be certain that at that moment Mary didn't know the full cost of that accepting availability. However, she did know the certainty of her commitment to the God of her fathers. And she knew the depth of her love for Jehovah. That meant no cost could possibly be too high. So submission was the only logical response. Whatever He might ask of her, she would gladly give.

I want to live that kind of submission to the will and Word of God. Not only that, I want to enjoy being submissive, from the heart, with no reserve. How about you? May the Lord grant that we determine to pay whatever cost in order to live out our commitment to Jesus in willing submission!


"So Mary was joyful. How nice." In a way, it would make sense to think such cynical, sarcastic thoughts. After all, an angel had just notified her of her selection for the greatest human assignment of all time. "If I had received news of such magnitude, I would be joyful as well!"

Before getting too carried away with that kind of thinking, consider this: "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:47). That challenges, convicts, and encourages me. You see, for the last several months I have found this joyful business to be a difficult business indeed. I wouldn't say I have been depressed, but certainly discouraged and morose. What's more, I have not been entirely sure of all the reasons why!

Now I notice that Mary's primary focus was God. He was her cause and reason for rejoicing. She looked to Him and found plenty of reasons to rejoice. I could say that Mary would find it easy and natural to do that, but that doesn't help me. But I think of David, who at times found himself in depressing straits, and how on at least one difficult occasion "he encouraged himself in the LORD his God" (1 Samuel 30:6).

Let's determine to do better at turning our eyes to God, finding in Him our rejoicing . . . all the time . . . no matter what. Frankly, it looks very hard to me; even so, I still think it is attainable. So let's not give up!


Mary did not take the fact she could not understand so many of these things as a reason for not thinking about them. I imagine she studied them from this angle and that, perhaps even wondering which of the beloved Scriptures applied.

Meditation on God, His Word, and His ways needs to be a significant portion of the Christian's thought life. I know it would help us overcome any wrong thought or focus that we might otherwise entertain. Listen:

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (Psalm 1:2).

"I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings" (Psalm 77:12).

"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands" (Psalm 143:51).

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