With an infinite number of commentaries about Christmas, I offer this remaining thought: Obedience must not be contingent on Understanding.
Layered in the angel’s message to Mary is one of the Bible’s most prophetic words. Gabriel said of Jesus, Luke 1:32-33 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
A “Throne” and a “House” are mentioned in the scripture describing the positions and authority of the coming Christ. The “Throne” was Mary’s connection to David. She was a descendant of King David and the transfer of authority would now shift from a fleshly king to The King of kings. The “House of Jacob” was in consideration of the nation of Israel. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel by God at Peniel. Thus, the prophecy depicted Jesus as the coming Messiah Whose kingdom would rule over Israel in the millennial reign that is yet to come.
I submit that Mary did not understand the full meaning of Gabriel’s message. Jesus was coming to rule on a spiritual throne and reign over Israel. Gabriel was setting something in motion that would not be undone. Surely, Mary could not have seen the whole of what he said. All she knew was that she was to have a child by divine order of the Holy Ghost.
I wonder how many people have dismissed the Word of God because it was difficult to understand. God gives us dreams and visions that are often cloudy and obscure. His messages are not always revealed in simple terms. Even the parables of Jesus were masked with analogies. Jesus said: Mark 4:12 “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand…”
Mary could not have known the meaning of the entirety of Gabriel’s message nor could she understand the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. However, her response was what mattered most. She said: Luke 1:38 “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
In obedience, Mary simply believed God for an impossible thing. Jesus came through obedience. Obedience is the key that opens up doors and unlocks the mysteries of this life. It is the clear path we make for the Lord to enter in. Christmas came through obedience. God sent His only begotten son through a young girl who did not understand, but offered herself as a vessel and she did it through obedience.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole