May 13

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There is one word that speaks more than most other words; and we each have one. Mother is the most beautiful; no, we are not talking about her looks but her character. If you desire to show love, just show a mother; if you want to explain kindness, just bring on a mother; if you are trying to tell someone about gentleness, reveal a mother; and if you are searching for sacrifice, find a mother.

On the other hand, the ugliest, the most hideous, the most disappointing, is an unfaithful mother!  Just stop for a moment and read: “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28). Mary was “highly favoured,” but just what does this mean? The Greek word, which gives us real understanding; is “charitoō” and in this context, cares the idea of being “compass with favour;” but what kind of “favour?” The angel said, “the Lord is with thee;” and truly this alone would be a blessing so high! In what way was Mary “highly favoured;” not as one might first think!  The angel followed with these words: “the Lord is with thee!” At the same time, the Lord had been with and was even at this moment, with many!  Yet these words are said to Mary and there is more to these words than normally expressed. Mary, a woman among other women, but the Lord is with her! With her, unlike the Lord had ever been with another! For the angel said to Mary: “blessed art thou among women.”  Never had any woman heard these words with the meaning they had as spoken to Mary! Never and not even at that time in history; nor never again would a woman hear such words as they relate to Mary conceiving!

Just what kind of woman was Mary? Surprisingly, the inspired record does not reveal a great deal about the character of Mary. But then, we do not need many words, even inspired words, written about Mary to know what kind of woman she was; for the fact standing alone, that God chose this young woman to be the mother of the Son of God, made her unlike any other woman!  Read slowly the following; “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:18). Mary was to give birth to a child, and we know, she was to give birth to male child; this when she had never “known” a man. With the guarded words of the Holy Spirit, Matthew wrote: “before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” No woman had ever been so “highly favoured!”  Without any doubt, whatever words give honor to a woman, Mary surpassed them all. In her we find the epitome of womanhood and motherhood. Keep in mind, it was God who “highly favoured” her! In fact, Mary was the “handmaid” of God, read these words: “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).  Have you ever thought about the word “handmaid?”  Get this now, as the angel talks with Mary, she concludes that she is the “handmaid of the Lord.” It was not the angel who told her that she would be the “handmaid of the Lord;” but Mary upon hearing the words the angel said to her, she concluded and then said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” The Greek word is “doulē” and means: “a female slave!” Mary willingly gave herself to the words of the angel, and said: “be it unto me according to thy word” and the angel upon hearing Mary’s words, understood her surrender to the word of the Lord; “And the angel departed from her.”

One other point as we look at the words of Elisabeth, the mother of John, who baptized. Mary had gone to visit Elisabeth and “saluted Elisabeth.” Now here is the point: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit:  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:41 – 42).  Friends, these are the words spoken by Elisabeth, but revealed by the Holy Spirit!  Therefore, it is an affirmation of the Holy Spirit that Mary was “Blessed” “among women,” as in all women. The Greek word used here, is “eulogeō” and expresses the idea of one who is favoured of God, but notice Elisabeth uses the same word (In both English and Greek) as she says: “and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” But these were not Elisabeth’s words, but those of the Holy Spirit speaking in Elisabeth!

Mary, possessed character pleasing to God! Therefore, there are no higher words a person may speak in describing a mother, than for her to be called in truth, a “handmaid” of God!

Frank R. Williams


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