Mary: The Faith of a Mother – Luke 1:26-56

There is nothing more comforting and encouraging than the faith of a godly mother. A mother who loves the Lord and her children is like a rare and precious gem. If you have such a godly mother, you should be very thankful for her and appreciative of her. The greatest example in scripture of a godly mother is none other than the mother of our Lord, Mary. Her faith is an example to us all. In Luke chapter one we see four things concerning the faith of Mary; four things that her faith was based upon.

Based on a belief in the sovereignty of God. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she will be with child. The child will not be an ordinary child, He will be the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Mary is surprised to hear this and she questions the angel’s message. Mary says that this is impossible because she has never been with a man, she is a virgin. The angel explains to Mary that she is conceived by the Holy Ghost. Mary’s response is found in verse 38. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”[1] This statement by Mary shows her belief in the sovereignty of God. She knew that God is in control and that God’s will would be done no matter the circumstance. The Dictionary of Theological Terms says,

“The Bible presents to us the God who reigns, who is in control, and who is not bounded or limited by the dictates of His creatures, or by the circumstances of time. “Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places” (Ps. 135:6). This perfect freedom is the essential element in God’s sovereignty. His will is supreme and unfettered. “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.… I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:9–11).

This is the consistent testimony of Scripture, which presents God as the supreme, almighty, and sovereign One. He is called, “the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen. 14:19). His supreme will cannot be frustrated by any of His creatures, for we read, “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:35).

The NT sums up these glorious statements with such descriptions of God as, “the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15); “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending … which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).

In these statements of God’s sovereignty, we note the deliberate emphasis placed on God’s will. God is a rational being, and His actions are the result of His free and voluntary decision. Thus, behind all the powerful acts of God in time lies His sovereign eternal purpose. In writing to the Ephesians, Paul speaks of God’s “good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself” (Eph. 1:9), and of “the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will” (1:11). This purpose is called His “eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (3:11), and it assures us that all things that come to pass fall within the plan of God.”[2]

There is nothing more beautiful than a godly mother who has a firm and unwavering belief in the sovereignty of God. There is something comforting about a mother who understands that God knows what is best, and is resting in the fact that God is in control.

Based on a belief in the supernatural power of God. Mary believed that there was nothing that God could not do. Notice what the text says in verses 34-38. “And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”[3] When the angel told Mary that with God, nothing is impossible; she believed and accepted it without any doubt. To think that a virgin would conceive and bear a child is simply unthinkable. Yet, Mary, believed. She believed in a God who could do anything. She believed in the supernatural power of God. It reminds me of a godly mother who is praying for her children. Perhaps she has a child who is sick and she prays, believing that God has the power to heal her child. Perhaps she has a child who does not know the Lord and for years she has prayed fervently and consistently for the child’s salvation. She does not give up on praying, because she believes with all her heart that God can do anything.

Based on a belief in a trustworthy God. Put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a moment. In her day, if she was found to be with child outside of wedlock, she could have been stoned to death. Her very life was at stake. Yet, nowhere in scripture do we see Mary in a panic. She does not worry. She received a message from the Lord, she believed it and she trusted that God would take care of her. She believed that God knew what He was doing and she trusted Him totally and completely. Do you have that kind of trust in the Lord? Are you willing to give Him complete control of your life? Do you trust Him?

Based on a belief in the greatness of God. After Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is also blessed with a miraculous conception, she is given an overwhelming confidence and assurance that what the angel told her is true. This leads Mary to sing a song of praise to God recognizing His power and greatness. Luke 1:46-56 says, “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.” [4] Mary knew that she served a great God. The events unfolding in her life seem too good to be true. She is overwhelmed with the goodness and grace and mercy of God. It is a beautiful thing to see a godly mother in constant praise to God. There is nothing more special than to hear the sweet whistle and hum of a mother praising God as she performs her daily tasks.

Mary is a wonderful example of the faith of a mother. It should be our desire to pattern our lives after such faith. May God help all of us to have the faith of a mother.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Lk 1:38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Cairns, A. (2002). In Dictionary of Theological Terms (pp. 428–429). Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Lk 1:34–38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Lk 1:46–56). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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