Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Mary's Maturity

By Dennis Pollock


When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to inform her that she had been chosen to be the mother of Israel's Messiah, he began with the words: "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (Luke 1:28). This was surely the ultimate compliment, the greatest tribute that could be paid to any man or woman. God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, had just told Mary, through His angel, that she was "highly favored" and blessed above all women.


Most Christians believe that Mary was probably a teenager at this point, perhaps somewhere between 17 and 19. The question that arises from this experience with the angel and God's assessment of this young lady is: "How did Mary win God's favor the way she did?" What was it that she had done, or what kind of a young woman was she, that her Creator thought so highly of her? Sadly, we do not know a lot about her background. We do not have lengthy biographical material about this amazing woman who would become the mother of the Lord Jesus, so that we could properly analyze the exact details of the nature, habits, and lifestyle of this young Jewish woman.


There is, however, one hint that tells us much. It is found in Mary's response to Elizabeth when the two cousins meet after Mary's encounter with the angel. At this point Elizabeth is six months' pregnant with John the Baptist and Mary is perhaps a week or two past her immaculate conception of the Lord Jesus. The two greet each other, and Elizabeth has a stirring spiritual experience. She is filled with the Holy Spirit and immediately recognizes that Mary is the mother of the Messiah of Israel. She declares: "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." (Luke 1:45).


Now it is Mary's turn to experience that anointing of the Holy Spirit, and she begins to praise God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Her prophetic praise has been revealed to us in the first chapter of Luke. She begins by saying:


“My soul magnifies the Lord,

 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;

For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,

And holy is His name…” (Luke 1:46-49).


Mary goes on well beyond these verses, but even with this introduction you cannot help but be impressed with the Biblical fluency and eloquence of this young Jewish teen. The passage is so majestic it is hard to believe that these words are pouring out of the mouth and heart of a teenage girl.

Most young people are still finding articulate speech an impossibility. They express themselves in words like "awesome" and with great numbers of "You-know's" and "Uhhh's." They describe experiences something like this: "I was like, whooaah," and he was like, "Yeah, I know," and I was like, "Can you believe it?" Most young people simply have not yet reached a level of eloquence that would enable them to write or speak at an adult level.


Mary in this Holy Spirit-inspired utterance is putting together words, phrases, and sentences, like a brilliant philosopher/theologian. Reading Mary's prophetic praise, you immediately know two things: 1) Mary was a smart, young woman, and 2) Mary was a very godly young woman. She was head and shoulders, intellectually and spiritually, above the average young lady then or now.


The Bible tells us: “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” (2 Chr 16:9).


God had apparently been doing some searching, peering over the land of Israel with His all-seeing eyes, and had found Mary to be the perfect mother for His Son. Mary checked every box and fit the exact profile God had in mind for the woman who would raise Jesus from infancy to adulthood. Of course, it was more than that. God had, in fact, fashioned this young lady while still in the womb of her own momma, and had given her every character trait, every personality characteristic, and most of all, a deep reverence for Him, that uniquely qualified her for her task, as no other woman, before or since, has been qualified.


Not only was Mary highly intelligent and deeply devoted to the God of Israel – she reveals a deep level of familiarity with the Scriptures. If your Bible lists Old Testament Biblical references connected with New Testament quotations, you will find chapter and verse references listed throughout Mary's entire utterance of praise. What this means is that Mary is quoting Scripture after Scripture as she praises God for what He has done for her. Almost certainly this can only mean that in the previous years Mary has been reading Scripture, memorizing Scripture, and meditating on the Scriptures. Now, when her heart is filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit, these Scripture verses and phrases and language come pouring out like a waterfall. The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and Mary's heart is abundantly filled with the words and phrases and prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures. This young lady knew the Word!


If this were to happen to most young ladies today, even Christian women, they might respond with something like: "Wow, that's great! Awesome!" But none of that for Mary. She praises God in adult language steeped with Scriptures and clothed in the language of the Bible.


This lady loved the sacred Scriptures. And to make it more interesting, it is highly unlikely that Mary's family had a Bible in their home. There were no printing presses, no book publishers, and no Christian bookstores. Every Book of the Scriptures had to be meticulously copied letter by letter and verse by verse. Most middle class or poor Jews could never afford to own an entire copy of the Hebrew Scriptures or even a single book. But somehow Mary had paid close attention in her theology classes and at the synagogue. Her sharp mind and spiritually sensitive nature drank in all she learned, and this became an important part of that which equipped her in her role as the mother of the Messiah of Israel. Mary was no college graduate, she was no theology scholar, she was no stuffy intellectual, but she had a PhD in what really matters; her love for the Lord was far beyond all the scholars and theologians of her generation.


We like to write books about and discuss the great men and women of history. But the ultimate in greatness is God Himself. And there is something about God's greatness that rubs off on those who spend time with Him. David did so as a young man watching his father's sheep, and God's greatness came all over him. Quiet, thoughtful Mary spent her early years with God, and His greatness came upon her and made her the "most blessed among women."


Today, God's greatness is found in His Son Jesus Christ. As we put our faith in Jesus, and abide in Him and walk with Him daily, His greatness, which is far beyond David or Mary, His anointing, and His fruitfulness will come pouring out of our lives. Just as with Mary and David, so shall it be with us. We will find ourselves thoroughly equipped for the great works God has ordained for us. No, we will not become a David or a Mary, but in our own small way, we will achieve the tasks for which we were created and bring glory to our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.




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