Obedience and the Salvation Purpose of God

“Be it unto me according to your Word.”

“My Father … Your will be done.”

Like mother, like Son.

The life of Jesus on earth began with a decision by a virgin betrothed to a carpenter in Nazareth. The life of Jesus on earth finished with a commitment by the one and only Innocent Man to the Father.

Obedience was the common denominator. Both Mary and Jesus chose to follow after the eternal purpose and plan. They did so in the face of the pain, the challenges, and the difficulties that came with their commitments.

For Mary, her womb would become full as she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Her pregnancy jeopardized her standing and her future as the wife of Joseph. Imagine the gossiping carried along by this seeming scandal. Family reputations took big hits for sure.

The visit from the angel Gabriel came as a shock, of course. His message to Mary seemed so unbelievable. What thoughts careened through her mind? How fast was her heart beating in that moment?

“Fear not?” The angel said, perhaps with a smile. Easy for one of the heavenly host to say to her; he wouldn’t be the one great with child before her wedding day.

Gabriel turned Mary’s thoughts toward Elizabeth. She had been talked about, too. Her inability to conceive grieved her and her husband. The whispers of the family curse circulated long. This must have been so hard on her. Years went by and she and her husband Zechariah were running on empty as far as hope goes, even though the faith stories they had heard often involved barren ones being made fruitful by the hand of God.

And then, in the timeframe reported by gospel writer Luke, Elizabeth was six months into carrying John the Baptist. None talked in reproach of this priest’s wife.

“With God, nothing shall be impossible,” said Gabriel. That touched home with Mary.

This Word of the Lord may have awakened her to a next-level faith. She belonged to God, and she determined that she was to serve Him.

The Saving Name

Grace filled this woman — quite literally when all that was said was done. This is made clear by the first bit of information given about the Child to come through Mary.

“You will call His Name Jesus” (Luke 1:31). The Hebrew form of this Name is Yeshua — Yahweh saves.

Oh, yes, this Baby shall be great, the Son of the Most High. He shall reign, seated on David’s throne. His Kingdom shall have no end.

Remarkable and glorious are these details. They are wonderful to behold and to think upon. And Mary will do a lot of thinking. We can read of her times of pondering in other passages in the gospel of Luke.

Yes, the One born to her would be high and exalted, worthy of all praise.

First, however, He is to be Jesus. Foremost of all about Him is this:  He is God the Savior.

Mary would sing of His salvation as she celebrated with Elizabeth. Her Son is God and she called Him “my Savior” for Mary’s sins were among the sins of the whole world for which Jesus would be lifted up on the Cross. Click To Tweet

Mary would sing of His salvation as she celebrated with Elizabeth. Her Son is God and she called Him “my Savior” for Mary’s sins were among the sins of the whole world for which Jesus would be lifted up on the Cross.

This virgin girl of Nazareth took the leap as the angel bid her to do. None went the way that she was asked to go. Just as no other one would go the way to death and beyond as the Son would go.

How did Mary make it? She needed fellowship, I believe. She found this in the hill country of Judea at the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah. For three months she was there. Two miraculously pregnant women encouraged each other in the Lord. Their offspring were coming in answer to the great prophetic promises given to the people of Israel.

John the Baptist would make people ready for the arrival of Jesus. He was sent as a voice in the wilderness. His call to repentance led many to come and bathe in water. The words of his preaching struck a chord and it became clear to some of their need to be made clean.

Still, John knew his place. Jesus and His work would set loose the Holy Spirit and His fire. These holy flames were to serve to purify the depths of all hearts given to the Son. John was the faithful friend to the Bridegroom who came to claim His Bride.

A Husband’s Faith

Mary was grateful for the time in Judea. She had to return to Nazareth at some point, however. She was to be a wife — this reality had not changed.

Those days could not have been easy. Her belly would swell as the Son grew inside her. This limited her ability to cover up and hide away. The looks of scorn were surely cast about her.

A measure of comfort and protection was with her there in Nazareth. This came in the form of another obedient one — Joseph, her betrothed.

Remember, nothing shall be impossible with God.

This man was crushed at the news of Mary’s pregnancy. What husband-to-be wouldn’t be? He wrestled to craft a careful and kind way to annul his marriage arrangement. His heart may have been broken, but he refused to let it harden. He sought no vengeance. His mind was only on mercy.

Joseph heard from the Lord in his dreams, and he went through with the wedding because God bid him to. Mary and the Son had a home and the legal covering of the family that came with its head.

Another thing was shared with Mary’s carpenter husband. He, too, was told that the One born was to carry the name Jesus. Yahweh’s saving purpose was the point of it all.

Soon a government order sent Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. The Roman government sought a head count of the Empire – it was designed to stir tax revenue. People were required to register in the towns of their nativity, and so Joseph and Mary, both of the line of David by way of Jesse and Obed, etc., had to head home.

There, as the story goes, Jesus was born in a manger. He began a life as an infant to fulfill the will of the Father. The Son was given into the hands of a mother and her husband who chose to let God use them.

This is how Salvation entered the world.

The Word Done

There were countless decisions that Jesus would have to make en route to the Cross. His way was His own, but the effects of all that He did cheered and also stung many hearts, especially in the heart of a mother.

“Be it unto me according to your Word.” That was Mary’s answer. This meant she would follow along on His road of miracle and proclamation and also endure much, much deep suffering with the Man of Sorrows.

She witnessed the Passion at Calvary. As He was pierced, so too was she pierced, wounded to the core, her heart pained and grief stricken.

There could be no other way, even though the Son did seek it. “… My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

The amazing plan of salvation Jesus had to complete – it was all wrapped up in His Name. It was something He had to accomplish in order to redeem His very mother.

The revelation of God’s saving Finished Work in Christ began with a request accepted by Mary. It ended with a request from her Son that had to be denied.

The Son was born to die. It was as simple as that. Let us not linger there over much. For in His dying, death was dealt its defeat, once and for all. The triumph shined forth at Easter when morning came and Christ was alive again.

Yes, the Word and will of God was done. Jesus died for us all. It happened so that it might be unto us according to His Word:  “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

 

Steve Andrulonis
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