Here we come to the narrative of the blessed virgin Mary. And most of us all know, she conceived the Christ child miraculously within her womb during her espousal with Joseph. Now I'm sure this didn't set very well with Joseph, nor with anyone else who may have found out. I say this because, from what we can read from the Gospel account, she was look upon (at least by Joseph) as being an adulteress. For we can see this to be true because he was thinking on how to divorce her privately (which by the way was an act of kindness on Joseph's part. Because we all know that during that time, women could be stoned to death for adultery). However, the angel said to Joseph in a dream: "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." So, the angel had to convince him that she was not unfaithful to him, thus he refrained from divorcing her. So this I say to all of you, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19). Amen.
So all this I include here, which would be Mary's encounter with the angel Gabriel, her declaration of faith in God by believing the angel Gabriel's message, her pronouncement of the goodness of God over his people, as well as her pronouncement of evil over the his enemies. But before all this took place, we had the angel Gabriel announce to Zacharias the priest that he and his wife Elisabeth would conceive a child in their old age. And many of us know that this child would later become none other than John the Baptist. And so as the story goes, Mary went to visit Elisabeth who was now in her sixth month of pregnancy. So first, the announcement to Mary.
Angel Gabriel pronouncement to Mary
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:30-33)
Maryʼs question, Gabrielʼs answer, and her response
After the angel pronounced to Mary that she was going to conceive a child, she was puzzled and asked an innocent question: How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. Then we have Maryʼs response of faith to Gabriel: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:34-38) Again, we see Mary not doubting the word of God from the angel Gabriel's mouth.
This all in contrast to what took place with the mentioned Zacharias who at first doubted the angel Gabriel's announcement to him that his wife would conceive in her old age. For he said to Gabriel: “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” And then we have the angels response to him: “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season” (Luke 1:18-20, 39) So because of his doubt, he could not speak until his son John was born. So if an angel of God is sent to you with a message, you best believe him as Mary did. Amen.
Elisabeth Speaks Out
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luke 1:39-45) Again, we see Mary being applauded for her believing the word of God.
All Generations shall call Me Blessed
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. (Luke 1:46-55)
How blessed are those woman who preach the word of God in truth as Mary did. For we see this not going against the scripture because there is nowhere in the Bible that forbids a woman from speak God's word. For we only see that it forbids a woman from teaching God's word (interpreting scripture) in a church setting, as well as taking on the role of a leadership position in the church or at home. So, let us encourage every man, woman and child in Christ to preach the Word of God with all boldness. Amen