THE FAVOR OF GOD
Updated: Oct 18, 2018
And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (Luke 1:28)
Mary truly had the awesome privilege of being the one to bear the Messiah! Yet we picture her as this perfect saint that God chose for this special commission. We have seen pictures of her depicted with a holy aura around her head. She has been venerated over the years to the point of worship (what we call “Mariolatry”, the worship of Mary). Some even believe her soul was preserved from original sin. Many people pray to Mary and see her as an intermediary to God. Others say she makes appearances to her devotees. People make sacred these sites and encourage pilgrimage. But was Mary any different than any other God-fearing Israelite girl of the day?
Mary was a blessed young woman but the Bible declares that all have sinned and fallen short of the grace of God (Rom 3:23). But notice that when the angel Gabriel announced Christ’s birth that he told her she was highly favored. He then said that God was with her and that she was blessed to be so highly favored. But what is favor? It is grace, that undeserved favor that we all have in Christ Jesus. The Bible says we have been saved by grace through faith and not by works (Eph 2:8-9). God has looked down on our sinful state and in His love, through sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins, has granted us His favor. All we have to do now is to accept His gracious gift.
God calls you “highly favored” as well. You are:
1) God’s child through Christ (1 John 3:1)
2) His special treasure (Exo 19:5)
3) His jewel (Mal 3:17)
4) The apple of His eye (Zech 2:8)
5) His bride (Rev 21:9)
6) Altogether beautiful with no blemish (Song 4:7)
Mary was just “Mary”, just as you and I are just “Bob” or “Betty”. With nothing to offer God, He has offered us the greatest Christmas gift ever, the gift of eternal life through His only Son. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Cor 9:15)