“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ 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.’” (Luke 1:34-35 ESV)
One must be practical. Mary has a question, and she needs a straight answer: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
Mary is not doubting like Zechariah. But she needs to know: Does God want her to move up the wedding ceremony, or what? Because it sounds like this is going to happen soon. Or does He have entirely different plans?
As it turns out, He does indeed have different plans—He’s going to handle the whole thing by miracle. As God promised long ago through the prophet Isaiah, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel” (7:14b). God is doing a new thing in the world-taking the old, sinful human race and injecting new, pure, divine, holy life into it. The baby will be both fully God and fully Man—God from all eternity, now taking on true human nature as the Man Christ Jesus.
Nobody who knows about His beginning will ever be in doubt that God is doing something special here—something to pay attention to. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19a ESV) And God is doing it on His own—no human arrangements are necessary. God’s salvation is entirely His own work—from Jesus’ conception to His suffering, death, and resurrection. And we are the joyful receivers!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You came to be God with us, Immanuel. Amen.
* Do you think Mary was surprised by the answer?
* Why or why not?
* Why does it matter that Jesus is really human and really God both?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on December 7, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved