Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week we’re going to study a story the birth of Jesus.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

(Luke 1:26-45; Luke 2:1-20 ESV)

Mary and Joseph’s betrothal was quite different from engagements today. In fact, in Jewish culture at that time, a betrothed couple had already taken public vows and was legally bound as in a marriage, except that the couple was not to live together nor have intercourse until the appointed time. Furthermore, it is made clear in Luke 1:27 and 34 that Mary was indeed a virgin. Mary’s initial response to the angel (Luke 1:34) doesn’t indicate any hesitation in wanting the angel’s message to be true. To be the mother of the Messiah was the dream of every Jewish woman. However,

Mary had not yet lived with Joseph, and she knew the humiliation she would experience if it became known that she was pregnant. She also questioned the physical possibility of such a pregnancy.

Mary was a willing servant of God. Her life provides a great example of the attitude we can bring to our relationship with Jesus.

When Mary was told how the child would be conceived and was reminded that God can do anything, she responded in humble obedience. She was God’s servant, and she wanted God’s plan to be fulfilled in her life.

We don’t know if Mary went alone to visit Elizabeth, but it seems she left in a hurry, though the trip must have taken five days. Elizabeth’s proclamation that Mary would bear the child of God was a final confirmation to Mary of all that she had likely been thinking during those five days of travel.

Question: How is Mary’s faith shown in this story?