Would You Have Been Able To Believe This?
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary." Luke 1:26-27 This is the beginning of the greatest story ever told. This young girl was engaged to a man, and quite suddenly an angel appeared to her to tell her that she is chosen to bring the Messiah into the world. Imagine her shock! It's easy for us to look back, those of us who know the story, and to just glide over the words because they are so familiar to us. But put yourself into the story and imagine what it must have been like for this young girl who was engaged to a man, to suddenly have an angel appear to her! Shock wouldn't adequately describe it. She was speechless. Then the angel told her he was sent from God to announce to her that through her, the Messiah will be born. Continue to be present in the story, be with her as she realizes she has to tell the man she's engaged to ...that she's pregnant. Let not our familiarity with the story prevent us from feeling the anxiety she must have felt when she realized she had to tell him something that makes no sense, something that has never happened before in the history of mankind. She must have waited days, or weeks, before getting up the courage to tell him before her pregnancy became obvious. She had no idea how this news would impact him, and she must have anticipated that he would break the engagement - and in fact, the Scriptures tell us that that is exactly what he intended to do, until the Lord sent an angel to him in a dream to tell him that what Mary said is true (Matthew 1:19-21). Now consider the days ahead, the years of Jesus growing up in Nazareth. Mary and Joseph knew this child was to be the Messiah, but their neighbors didn't believe it. There are some passages in the Scriptures that hint that Jesus was considered illegitimate. He probably was the subject of many rumors, and knew a lot of rejection in his growing years. Later in life, even in the height of his ministry, Scriptures tell us that his brothers and sisters did not believe in him until after his resurrection. Get into this story as it played out in reality and consider the strain the story caused Mary, Joseph, and Jesus himself. "I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother’s children;” Psalm 69:8 The birth of Jesus did not take place in a warm and glorious setting. It was not a time when the people sang, "Away In A Manger," or "O Little Town Of Bethlehem." They were in Bethlehem only because they had to be by law at the time of a census, and Jesus was born in a stable and placed in an animal's feeding trough. This must not have made any sense to Mary and Joseph. Imagine the feelings of doubt they might have had upon seeing "The Messiah" laying in an animal's feeding trough. Who could possibly have understood it? Mary undoubtedly returned many times in her memory to the announcement of the angel, to reassure herself that as unlikely as this looked, it had to be true. The angel that had appeared to Mary gave a promise concerning this Son: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give 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 1:32-33: . He is the Son of the Highest. The Son of GOD. . He will rule on the Throne of David, which didn't even exist at this time because Israel was under the dominion of the Roman Empire. . He will reign over the house of Jacob, (Jacob's name was changed to Israel.) . Unknown to them at that time, Israel was going to be destroyed and the Jews scattered throughout all the earth. Yet the promise remained. How much of this could you have witnessed in the reality of that day and remained believing? And now, 2,000 years later, God is turning back to this Jewish story and is bringing the Jews back to the land of their fathers after their 2,000-year disbursement, and God will fulfill every promise he has made to them. Jesus the Christ will truly come and reign upon the Throne of David, because God's Word is sure, faithful, and God is watching over his Word to perform it. We are living in the most exciting generation since the time of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, in the day when we will witness these promises coming to pass. Do you believe it?