In Biblical times Nazareth was a small agricultural town settled by a few dozen families. This town is not mentioned in the Old Testament since it is an insignificant village. Nazareth was isolated in biblical times because no trade routes ran through the city and therefore had no economic value. Nazareth was not included in the 45 cities of the Galilee that mentioned by Josephus the historian and its name is not included in the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud. It was not expected to have a prophet, a king, or a priest to ever come out of Nazareth.
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. -John 1:46
The most momentous event of all human history involved some of the people in Nazareth. Nazareth may have been a small town with a small population, but it also had some skilled craftsmen whose shops were found in the marketplace such as a potter, a weaver, a dyer, a blacksmith, and a carpenter. The carpenter was a man named Joseph and he was engaged to a young girl named Mary.
“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” – Luke 1:28
Mary was not a perfect person!
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.” – Luke 1:47-49
Mary was a sinner like all of us, and she admitted her low estate and her need for God’s gracious salvation. Mary responded enthusiastically to His offer of forgiveness. She lived with a sense of God’s presence in her life.
Mary was still afraid even though she knew God.
Mary was scared and shocked when the angel Gabriel appeared to her.
“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 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. 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 Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”- Luke 1:29-33
And just like many of us do, she questioned how this might be possible.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”- Luke 1:34
And Gabriel explained the supernatural phenomenon that would be accomplished
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God” – Luke 1:35
This was unbelievable, a miracle that had never happened in human history. However, it wasn’t impossible since it could be accomplished by the power of God.
This is where we see Mary’s trust in God.
This was Mary’s time to either resist God’s will, or to become a willing servant through whom God could carry out His plan. This decision was a matter of true trust!
This was a major honor!
But, this decision to trust God was not a simple one. Do you think anybody would really believe that this child was conceived by the Holy Spirit? Don’t you think more people would conclude that Mary was covering up how she was actually with some Roman soldier? The Roman district administrative center was only four miles northwest of Nazareth in Sepphoris, and Roman soldiers were often seen in the streets of Nazareth. Do you think others might think that Mary and Joseph might have gone too far in their relationship with each other? Either way, there was still a chance that Mary would be stoned for the sin that others would believe that she had committed.
And don’t forget a about Joseph.
He would know that he was not responsible for Mary’s condition. Would he still be willing to marry her? And what about the baby? Would he not carry the stigma of illegitimacy with him throughout his entire life? In this moment all of Mary’s dreams for the future flashed before her mind, and she could see every one of them shattered.
These questions boil down to one thing for Mary.
“Can I trust God to work out every problem I encounter if I submit myself to His will?”
Mary had reveled in her warm personal relationship with her Lord, but now He was asking for more. He was asking her to face the greatest question in life for a believer walking in fellowship with him.
“Mary, do you really trust me?”
Mary was a woman who mediates because twice we are told that she kept certain things and pondered them in her heart.
It didn’t take her long to make up her mind.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.” -Luke 1:38
Her decision was to submit to God’s will and to trust Him with the consequences. Submission to God’s will almost always involve some risk, but God has promised to work all the details together for good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”-Romans 8:28
God may be asking you the same question He asked Mary: “Do you really trust me?”
Trust is not an easy and automatic response. It needs to be developed, particularly with those who have been deeply hurt. We can help others build a stronger trust in us by our own deepening commitment to the will of God. We must learn to consult the Lord about every decision we make. We need to spend time in prayer to seek His wisdom, search his Word for his principles to guide us, and wait for the assurances of His peace. And if there is an unquestionable desire to do God’s will alone, regardless of our own personal preferences, He will protect us from making grievous mistakes.
We know God asked Mary to trust him and despite all her fears she did.
Is God asking you to trust him?