In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to 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 1:26-33)
One day, Mary learns that she had landed a starring role in God’s plan of salvation. She is going to be the mother of the Son of God! This is not a part she auditioned for. This is not a job she applied for. She did not volunteer for this mission. She has no experience in being a mother. Why in the world would God choose her?
The word favor must have something to do with it. The angel said, “You have found favor with God.” Favor is pretty much the same as grace. Mary discovered God’s grace. Grace of course has nothing to do with who we are or what we’ve done. It is God’s undeserved goodness toward us. Mary scored front row seats to God’s amazing gracious plan of salvation for his people.
There are others in the Bible who are “favored.” Noah, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, and Samuel are just a few who discovered that God was gracious and worked through them to save his people.
As those saved by grace through faith, we’re among those whom God “favors.” You and I have great seats from which to see God’s plan of salvation continue to change hearts and lead people to faith. You see, we too get to carry Jesus into this world as we show mercy, forgive those who wrong us, and talk about what the Christ has done for us.
Don’t ever forget that you are one of God’s “favorites” too!
Thank you, Lord, for Mary’s faith and willingness to be your servant. And thanks for your favor in my life. too. Amen.