Impossible

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

December 20, 2023

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Impossible

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Luke 1:34-37 “’How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.’”

Think

The story begins with Mary pledged to Joseph, a formal agreement to marry, yet the actual celebration hadn’t occurred. Between the pledge and the wedding feast lay a period where they were considered married, but did not cohabit. Mary lived at her parents’ home, awaiting the impending celebration.

Imagine her, much like any teenager excited about her upcoming wedding, envisioning guests, decorations, food, music, and the attire she would wear. It should have been the most joyful time of her life. However, at this juncture, God introduces a profound and unexpected twist. He's about to invite this unknown teenager into something so radical, it defies belief. God’s request to Mary is about to alter the course of her life.

Her dreams of a splendid wedding, the excitement of planning the feast, and the anticipation of a perfect life with Joseph—everything changes. In their place arose rumors, an unconventional wedding, and a life clouded by suspicion.

Mary will be married, but the narrative won’t align with her expectations. Mary and Gabriel are about to converse, and truth be told, Gabriel is doing most of the talking. He shares three significant revelations, like, “You’ll bear a son named Jesus, and he'll be remarkable, a Son-of-the-Most-High kind of remarkable.” That's quite staggering, isn’t it?

Yet, Mary doesn’t doubt the angel, which is astonishing, considering the unbelievable nature of the message. Her only question, “Okay, I'm willing, but can you explain the logistics?” It’s an incredible display of faith, trusting God even when his plan appears impossible.

Often, Mary has been portrayed as a serene, angelic figure, but Luke depicts her as real—a person with doubts and confusion. And her faith? It’s admirable. After hearing Gabriel’s explanation, she simply responds, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it happen just as you say.” That’s a resounding YES to God, YES to the unimaginable, and YES to God’s plan. That's faith personified!

Apply

Throughout Scripture, we see repeated examples of faith that goes beyond logical understanding, such as Moses and the Red Sea Crossing, David and Goliath, Peter walking on the water in the storm. What “illogical” step is God asking of you? Trust God’s plan when it diverges from your expectations. Surrender today to his unseen ways and decide to follow him – no matter what.

Pray

Lord, thank you for so many examples of your faithfulness in Scripture. Help me to live out a Mary-like faith. I know you are great enough and I trust you to work for my good. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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