Continued from Part 2…
“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)
Part 1: Sometimes God’s messages to us seem too Utopian to believe,
Part 2: Sometimes God’s methods for us seem too illogical to follow,
Part 3: And then there are times when God chooses to meet us at our level… earth.
A heavy silence engulfs the heavenly courts. All the angels are gathered before His throne. A great mission lies ahead; a mission that will change the course of the universe forever. There had been rumors, prophesies, musings and speculations about it. Some angels had joked and jested about it; some had deliberated and debated upon it… How was God going to do it? How will He reconcile everything to Himself?
“I think Mary is going to have a heart-attack when she wakes up and discovers she’s pregnant!” said one angel.
“No, she has to have a dream about it first. God always warns the earthlings in dreams doesn’t He?” another angel mused.
“Perhaps He’s going to send a prophet like he used to do in the old days.”
“I don’t think so,” says angel Michael, “Do you realize this is the miracle of miracles? The son of God Himself being born on earth! I bet there’s going to be a huge commotion. Maybe the sun will go out for a few minutes, a little earthquake to shake up the people…”
A trumpet sound interrupts the mild chatter. God the father is ready to speak. All the angels bow before Him. A deafening silence falls all across heaven as they await the Father’s next words.
“Gabriel, I am going to send you to earth.”
Angel Gabriel is a little flustered “W..w..what? Me?”
“Yes Gabriel, I have chosen you to convey this good news to my people.”
“Yes Lord, Your will is my command, to which temple should I go and announce this?”
“No Gabriel, you will not go to any temple this time.”
Gabriel’s eyebrows rise, his eyes light up with anticipation.
“Oh, cool! This is great news and it has to be announced on top of a mountain right?”
“No Gabriel, will you just let me finish? I am going to send you to a little town called Nazareth in Galile
A confused scowl replaces the anticipation on angel Gabriel’s face when he hears the name… NAZARETH?
A confused scowl replaces the anticipation on Mary’s face the moment she hears the name… JESUS?
Wait, Yeshua? God Saves? Lord, am I going to be the mother of the promised Messiah?
But Mary doesn’t have time to ask the question at the tip of her tongue because the angel offers an answer in the same breath, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
That’s right, Mary of Nazareth. You are going to give birth to the One and only Son of God.
Mary knows better than to question God’s choice.
Most of us don’t, we are famous for questioning God’s choices.
Such a series of events is bound to make any skeptic think twice. God chose a common day to bring the good news into the world. It was not in the midst of Passover or one of the many feasts of Israel. No. The day of the angel’s visit was an unmarked number on Joseph’s desktop calendar. God descended on an ordinary day… and to an ordinary couple.
Joseph was no Bible thumping Pharisee or altar hugging priest. He was a common villager, a carpenter by profession and barely earning enough to afford him a decent house away from the poor village of Nazareth. Mary was a young peasant girl from a humble family that brought her up to be a God fearing lady. Her family didn’t make the headlines of the local dailies. Yes, God paid a visit to an ordinary people… and to an ordinary village.
Nazareth was a small poor village in Israel. One that did not contribute much to the economy of the country as it had no decent river from which to fish or a decent field upon which to graze sheep. Nazareth was an insignificant dot at the edge of the map of Israel. Yes, God descended to an ordinary village… and with an ordinary face.
Jesus himself was not the hottest thing in town. His biceps went unnoticed and his face was nothing to write home about. Speaking about his appearance, Isaiah describes it better. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2)Were you to be strolling in the streets of Nazareth on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you could have spotted Jesus easily. He was the guy with the big forehead and a crooked eye.
JESUS, THE SON OF GOD, WAS NOTHING TO LOOK AT… YET HE WAS EVERYTHING TO LOOK TO.
What about you? Are you anything to look at?
Let’s start with your bank account: Has the bank started sending you letters to update your balance?
What about your family account: Are you the black sheep of your family?
And your friendship account: Are you planning to spend yet another lonely Christmas this year?
And finally, how’s your faith account doing? Finding it hard to remember when you last prayed? Or gave to the needy? Has it been awhile since you had any encounter with God? Do you consider yourself a lost cause? Do you feel too lost to be saved? Too dirty to be cleansed? Too broken to be fixed? Too messed up to be restored?
Well, the truth is:
God sent His messenger into your wretched Nazareth, not the Holy Jerusalem.
God sent His message to poor Joseph, not the rich Pharisees.
And that message… was a person… and that person… was God’s only Son… and that son… was Jesus… and that Jesus… died for you. He died to set you free from the bondage of sin and the guilt of your failures. Jesus died to reconcile you to your heavenly Father. He took your place, your punishment, your damnation.. so that you can take a place in His presence, His kingdom, His glory.
If you think you are too lost and too insignificant for Jesus to die for, ask yourself why God chose to record His son’s identity in the Bible as JESUS OF NAZARETH as opposed to JESUS OF ISRAEL or JESUS OF THE UNIVERSE.
He had you in Mind.