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 (Luke 1:26–27 ESV).
The typical evangelical hesitates to talk about Mary because of the Catholic traditions that have elevated her to a status God did not reveal in the Bible. However, this hesitation has dire consequences: we rarely hear teachings about Mary’s life other than being the mother of Jesus. However, her life is an exemplary example for the believer in Christ.
Although there are many lessons from Mary, we will mention two for the sake of this brief article: her sexual purity and faith.
If there is a single descriptive word about Mary that echoes from the Old to the New Testament, it is the word “virgin”—a woman who has never been sexually intimate with a man. Although God intentionally had Gentiles and prostitutes (Ruth and Rahab) in the genealogy of Jesus, He chose a virgin as His earthly mother. Nothing defiles a man or woman as sexual impurity, which is sexual relations outside of a God-ordained marriage(1 Corinthians 6:18). Our generation needs to remember Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus.
Besides her sexual purity, this woman Mary was an extraordinary hero of faith. Even when a priest (Zachariah) would not believe the message from the angel Gabriel, this lowly teenager said to Gabriel: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Lk. 1:38 KJV). And her song in Luke 1:46-55 contains at least ten quotations from the Old Testament: she was a woman of the Word, grounded in the Scriptures!
What often comes to mind when you hear the name “Mary”? The “catholic conundrum” mentioned above?
Apply the Word
Few things will quench God’s fire as sexual impurity. Mary is reminding us that God takes our sexual purity seriously. And she also teaches us to be men and women of faith who take God for His Word! Emulate godly people; learn from Mary.
Ask the Lord to help you emulate Mary, as mentioned above.
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