THE BIGGEST SCANDAL OF ALL TIME

I know that we’ve all read about the birth of Jesus Christ. Every year at Christmas time, I like to re-read how angels appeared before Mary and told her the good news. It is fascinating to read about the bright star that led the shepherds to the stable where the Son of God was born. It is a beautiful story, and we can learn lessons every step of the way. Lessons of faith, obedience, humility, and trust are a few that I think of as I read the story every year.

I always think a lot about Mary, how she reacted to the news, and I am amazed at her level of faith and obedience.

Luke 1:26-38

26 Six months after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee. 27 The angel went to a virgin promised in marriage to a descendant of David named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary.

28 When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”

29 She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant.

30 The angel told her,

“Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor  with God.
31 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son,
and name him Jesus.
32 He will be a great man
and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his ancestor David.
33 Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever,
and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’m a virgin.”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child developing inside you will be called the Son of God.

36 “Elizabeth, your relative, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child. 37 But nothing is impossible for God.”

38 Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”

Then the angel left her.

Here is a quick synopsis of these verses;

  • Mary was engaged to a descendant of David named Joseph
  • Mary was a virgin
  • An angel appeared in her home
  • God favored Mary
  • Mary was startled and afraid
  • The angel told her that she would be pregnant with a son, name him Jesus, and he would be the Son of the Most High
  • Mary questioned how this would happen since she was a virgin
  • The angel explained that nothing is impossible for God
  • Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”

This whole story, from top to bottom, is amazing. To me, the story leaves out a lot, like what happens next. After the angel leaves, can you imagine what is swirling around in Mary’s mind? Thoughts like, “did I just see an angel,” “am I going to be the mother to the son of God,” “how am I going to explain this to Joseph,” “will Joseph leave me,” or “what is everyone going to think?” These are not insignificant thoughts, and they would have grave consequences, yet Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”

Mary tells Joseph, and even though we don’t get a behind-the-scenes look at how the conversation went, we know that Joseph planned to divorce Mary quietly. Joseph was a stand-up kind of guy, and he loved Mary, but finding out she was pregnant had to have thrown him for a loop.

Matthew 1:20-23

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Mary now had Joseph in her corner, but I doubt that an angel appeared to the rest of the town. Were there knowing looks, comments made behind her back, were she and Joseph the talk of the town? The idea that a virgin could become pregnant wasn’t something that people would believe, and there are still skeptics who doubt the truth of this story.

Joseph and Mary knew the truth, even if others were in doubt. Joseph and Mary could hold their head up high even when they heard whispers or encountered the stares of judgment. They were part of the biggest scandal of all time, and this was just the first scandal to follow Jesus. Jesus died a scandalous death on the cross, so he was followed by scandal from beginning to end. Jesus shows us that you are not defined by how you were born or how you die but by the person you are inside.

I wish you and your family have a very Merry Christmas, and encourage everyone to remember why we are celebrating the season.

To God Goes The Glory!

Have A Blessed Day!

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  1. Pamela Welch wrote:

    I love the way you presented the Christman story!

    Posted 12.20.21 Reply
  2. Jenniffer wrote:

    Such a great reminder that our “ask” from God is nothing like what young Mary’s was! We should all strive to have a faith as big as hers!

    Posted 12.20.21 Reply
  3. Mindy wrote:

    Wonderful way to frame the Christmas story! I love it:L

    Posted 12.19.21 Reply
  4. Frani wrote:

    Merry Christmas to you & yours!

    Posted 12.19.21 Reply
  5. Marin Mattingly wrote:

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and yours.

    Posted 12.19.21 Reply
  6. Beth wrote:

    So good! Thank you for this post.

    Posted 12.19.21 Reply
  7. Carolina wrote:

    Excellent post! Merry Christmas to you too.

    Posted 12.19.21 Reply
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