God Works With the Unqualified

This Sunday we’ll be reading Luke 1:26-38, as we continue the story of Jesus as told by Luke’s gospel.

As you read that story, what do you see as similarities and differences between the story of Zachariah and that of Mary?  How do you see yourself in this account?  Isn’t it interesting that God chose to work in a backwoods town with a couple of “nobodies” instead of bringing Christ through well known rulers or highly respected religious leaders?  What does that tell us about how and who God works with?  What does that tell us about US?

3 comments

  1. A couple of things come to mind, first the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. The two are not only relatives they now have something more in common, living with something scandalous. For most of Elizabeth’s life she had to deal with the looks and accusations of neighbors and family,”hmm, still no baby — I wonder what they did. And Zachariah a priest and all. All I’m saying is ….” Now Mary was about to become pregnant in a culture that shunned this type of experience outside of marriage. Elizabeth had experienced the looks, whispers and glances for her entire adult life. Who better to be there and help Mary? Elizabeth would not only be more open to miracle of Mary’s pregnancy (since she too was miraculously with child) — but also could prove a sort of buffer between Mary and those around her.
    Second, why didn’t Gabriel treat Mary’s reaction the same as Zachariah’s? On first reading you would think that Zachariah, being a priest, would be more open to the miraculous than a peasant teenage girl. However, it seems that this is outside his mindset. An angel is standing there and he asks, ” How shall I know this?” I guess the quickest way to get on an angels bad side is to basically ask him, “can I trust you?” Mary on the other hand seems to be saying, “ok, I get what you’re saying and all — but how?” Maybe it all comes down to how we answer that question, do you trust me? Mary seemed to trust, she just didn’t understand how. Zach, maybe not so much. It does seem that as themes go, trust runs from the first verses of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelations. Sadly, I am more often like ole Zach than Mary. After many years of seeing God bless and work and do things better than I could imagine, my knee jerk reaction often is — that’s great and all, but can I trust you?

    1. Being a woman I believe it was easier for Mary to grasp the miracle that was going to happen. She was the vesicle for Gods “handy work”. It was physically going to happen to her. She didnt know how because she was a virgin but her faith lead her to trust in the angeland her love lead her to trust in the Lord. Zachariah on the other hand was really caught off guard. Yes he was a priest a godly man and old. All he could think of was how could this be? As for God working with the “unqualified” that gives me hope. Cause he may work with me or you. And he does.This is a grand story,Gods grand plan being carried out. It makes me more aware of th everyday occurances,the mundane we take for granted. he works where we least expect!

  2. Rob, a lack of institutional education means you had to gather your knowledge directly from the word of God instead of from the words of professors. That doesn’t make you the least bit unqualified in my book – and no one who has actually listened to you speak would challenge that point.

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