Read: Luke 1:26-36
God wanted Mary to know his plan and her part in it. But when Gabriel proclaimed the amazing news to this humble, young, teenager, she was confused. Gabriel said she was favored and blessed—and she had no idea what he was talking about.
This may be the kind of attitude that Jesus was talking about in Matthew 5, when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Mary was poor in spirit. This kind of poverty can be economic—which Mary surely had. It can also be a sort of humility—thinking of others more than you think about yourself. But primarily this poverty is spiritual—an attitude of brokenness before God, fully dependent on his mercy and grace.
This spiritual poverty may be why Mary felt confused about why she was special. She knew she wasn’t. But she also knew that God was extraordinary. So, she asked a couple more clarifying questions, and then, with no idea how God’s plan would unfold, she totally surrendered to it. She fixed her eyes on God—poor in spirit and depending on a gracious Father. She even went as far as saying she was the Lord’s “slave.”
In our culture, we can have more spiritual wealth than poverty. We have a tendency to fix our eyes on ourselves. We usually think that we have what it takes to work on our problems, to sort out our relationships, even to work on our salvation. We fit God into our lives and plans where we can. But we certainly don’t ask him regularly what we can do for him—how we can serve him, and if we can be his slave.
But God has something so much bigger and better in mind for us. He wants to bless us with his amazing love. He wants to give us his kingdom. But we can’t receive all that if we think we already have everything we need.
That’s why we have to adjust our attitude. We have to be humble, like Mary, but more than that, humble, like Jesus. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, … emptied himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.”
God came to us. It was the ultimate example of humility, and love. All we have to do is accept it; by totally surrendering to it.
What plans do you need to surrender to God?
What would it look like for you to be God’s slave?