The story of Mary and the birth of Jesus is found in Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-28, and Luke2: 1-20. Mary would have been about 14 years old when she was betrothed (Engaged) to Joseph. The first thing I want to comment on is that Mary was not troubled by the appearance of the angel but by the angel’s message (Luke 1:29). This suggests to me that this was not the first supernatural encounter of Mary. Next, she was called “Highly favoured one” and while other people in the bible were called favoured she was the only person called “Highly favoured”. It so is important to realize that God does not lie, so there is something about Mary that pleased God which is not recorded in the bible. The angel then told Mary that she would become pregnant with the Son of God and the baby was to be named Jesus. Mary asked the angel how this could happen since she was a virgin. The angel replied,” The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that holy one who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Then Mary who knew the consequence of being pregnant out of marriage did not hesitate to say “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be according to your word” (Luke 1:38). When Mary told Joseph what had happened he did not want anything to do with her but God intervened and commanded Joseph to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:20). When Mary became pregnant she visited her elderly cousin who was pregnant with John the Baptist. The bible records that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice she was filled with the Holy Spirit such was the power of the Holy Spirit on Mary’s life. This raises a very important point – when Mary spoke to Joseph he was not impacted by the Holy Spirit like Elizabeth. Unfortunately, over the years I have observed this, on many occasions – some people who attend church regularly are never changed while many others are changed by the presence of God. When the time for the birth of Jesus was approaching, Joseph and Mary travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered in the place of their city – Because Joseph and Mary were of the lineage of David so they came to the city of David – Bethlehem. Because of the many people who had come to Bethlehem, there was no inn available to them so they had to be content to stay in a stable. That was when Jesus was born – to Mary and Joseph it was just the birth of a child – but not with God. The angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds and told them about the birth of Jesus and how to find Him. The shepherds came and found Jesus and told Joseph and Mary all that the angels had said. In Luke 2:18 it says that they all marvelled at what the shepherds had to say. And in verse 19 we find an outstanding characteristic of Mary for it says:” But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”. I am so challenged by this for it is so important to keep those special moments with the Lord and allow them to change the way that we live. At this Christmas time, we must never forget that “Jesus is the reason for the season”.

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