An Encouraging Word
Who Did Jesus Come For? Part 1
Thank you for reading our blog. In the coming weeks leading up to Christmas you will be reading our advent series, Who Jesus Came For. At the end of each blog post, we will present you with a challenge to share God’s love. The first in this four-part series is about Mary.
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’” Luke 1:26-28
Can you imagine what this must have been like? It was shocking to say the least. Mary was troubled by it herself; she wondered what this could mean.
The angel assured: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
What?! Not only was she going to be pregnant without “knowing a man,” but the Baby – God’s Son - would be the ruler of the world? For Mary this was surprising for she was just a young woman in a time where women were not considered to be of high importance.
To really put yourself in Mary’s sandles, take a moment to travel back to her time. According to www.bbc.co.uk, Jewish women in first century Palestine had “very limited legal and economic rights.”
A woman’s earned wages would go to the man of the household.
Women didn’t have the right to divorce, but the husband could. In fact, most inheritances that she received would go to her husbandand he’d keep the children.
Women were betrothed to marry - the choice of husband was made by the family, not by the girls themselves.
In this society, women were the lowest in their household. Yet, God chose to bring the good news of Jesus’ coming first to a woman.
It was unexpected. It was counter culture. And it was done in great love and power. God certainly cared for the women in Mary’s time period.
Centuries later, in America – the land of the free – women are considered to be equal among their male counterparts. Still, there are struggles. Women are sometimes treated as if they’re at the bottom of the totem pole. Some deal with mistreatment byturning to drugs and living on the streets. Some even fall victim to human trafficking – their bodies sold for another’s profit.
They may seem to be the lowest of the low. But just as the Lord loved women in the times before Jesus’ birth, He loves these women even more dearly.
Today He reaches out to these women… through you… to show them love in practical ways and to offer them hope for a new life in Christ Jesus. Our STORM bus ministry operates Tuesdays and Fridays, to help and care for women living on the streets in Price Hill. Visit www.focas-us.org/get-involved for more information on volunteering.
Follow Gabriel’s lead this Christmas season, bless these women with the good news of Jesus. After all, they are indeed the one’s for whom Christ came.