Words of Faith 2-15-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God."
Mary had a question. We can almost see her as a young teen, raising her hand in class. Excuse me, sir. I have a question. "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
Now if Zechariah had been there and heard Mary starting to ask the Angel a question he probably would have waved his arms frantically while shaking his head as if to say, "Psst. No! No! Do NOT ask the Angel any questions!" But then Zechariah might also have been quite startled to see that Mary did not receive a reprimand, but an answer.
Why the difference? Was this some capricious choice on the part of the Angel to answer one question, and punish another? Did he just like Mary better? Zechariah questioned the angel and he got a year of vocal confinement, listening and not being able to talk back. Mary questioned the angel and she got ... an answer? What a novel idea! How was Mary's question different from the one asked by Zechariah? Well let's look at it.
In Luke 1:18, Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be SURE of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." In Luke 1:34, Mary asked "How will this be?" If we read carefully we see that, indeed, there is a difference.
Zechariah's question was actually skeptical about God. He questioned whether such a thing could happen at all, given the circumstances. How could he trust this message? How can I be sure of this? How can I have faith in what you say? He did not understand that nothing is impossible for God. Actually the angel answered his question by giving him reason for certainty, even if through an odd and difficult miracle!
Mary just wanted to know how. She was already SURE that it would happen. She only wanted the details. She wanted to know how God was going to accomplish this miracle. The difference is faith.
We all have the same alternative when the high favor of God is announced: faith or doubt. Both Zechariah and Mary had questions. Questions accompany both faith and doubt. The difference is that faith trusts in the midst of the questioning while doubt is unsure and skeptical. That can be a big difference.
The angel answered Mary. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." That is the key truth for us to hear. Nothing is impossible with God.
We receive grace by faith that trusts that nothing is impossible with God. Paul said it so well in his letter to the Ephesians: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast." (2:8-9). We are not saved by our faith, even that is a gift from God! We are saved by God's grace, and that grace is received through faith. Faith trusts and receives the announcement of God's high favor. Even if we have been given the tiniest measure of faith, we receive God's grace through placing this faith in Jesus.
Do you have faith questions? Join the club. Both Zechariah and Mary journeyed the avenue of faith with questions. Both received answers. In the end, the Lord will bring us through our journeys as well. The more quickly we come to this fundamental truth-- "Nothing is impossible with God" -- the more quickly our journey can move on.
Lord, thank You for the gift of Your grace. Thank you for announcing Your high favor in my life. I have questions that I lift to You in faith. I love and trust You with all the measure of faith I have been given. I affirm that nothing is impossible with God. In Jesus' name.