Luke 1:26-38; 14:25-33 & Deuteronomy 22:20-24
– Shelley Wagner, Interim Elementary Associate
How do you respond to invitations? Do you anticipate joy and jump right in or perhaps you anticipate difficulty and want to escape? In our passages today, the mighty God of the universe extends His providential invitation to a humble recipient. As you begin to read this familiar passage, examine your own response to God’s invitations. Do you react in fear or in surrender?
Read Luke 1:26-38
From the beginning of time, God is working His great plan of rescue to fallen humanity. What human mind could conceive that His perfect salvation mission would include a simple peasant woman and her humble womb? Mary is visited by an angel who proclaims that she is favored! Verse 29 gives us her initial response, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words….” However, Mary does not run from the invitation. She waits humbly and patiently for God’s details. Those details seemed impossible in her human mind.
Read Deuteronomy 22:20-24
What was the punishment for a Jewish woman who sacrificed her virginity outside of a covenant marriage? Keep in mind that Mary would have been well-versed in the laws of her religion and culture. The cost for disobedience was death.
Reflect on Luke 1:37-38
What truth from the angel concerning God’s attributes is stated in verse 37?
What is Mary’s response to this truth despite the questions most likely swirling around in her head?
Now read Luke 14:25-33
Jesus, in common Jewish teaching methods, uses hyperbole (exaggeration) to bring across strongly a very important truth: following Him will be costly! Verse 27 is the homerun of truth, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow Me cannot be my disciple.”
What is your response to God’s invitation to join Him in His work? Do you run to comfort, the desire for human approval or your own plans for your future? Like Mary, we can follow God’s leading because we trust that “…no word from God will every fail.” Where is God inviting you to follow Him no matter the cost?
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