Mary was a young Jewish woman who was engaged to a man named Joseph when one day she was visited by the angel Gabriel who had the most amazing news for her. She was the object of God’s grace. He greeted her calling her “favored one” (Luke 1:28) and then declared, “You have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). These are the words for grace in the New Testament. Mary was chosen by the sovereign will of God to be used by God in a most unusual way. Gabriel goes on tell her the content of his news:
31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33)
She was going to be the mother of the Messiah, Israel’s savior who would reign over Israel in an eternal kingdom. What an unlikely choice. And yet, this is the very nature of God’s grace for all believers. We who are saved, we who are born again, we who are justified and made right with God, are so by the grace of God. It was completely unmerited favor. And he has give us everything, making us joint heirs with Christ. Gabriel will go on to tell Mary how God will do this for her since she was a virgin (Luke 1:34-35), but that is exactly the point. God does all the work, he gets all the credit. Let us praise him now for his undeserved grace.