“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! Luke 1:30
Doubt and fear swept the hearts of both of them, Zechariah, who would become the father of John the Baptist, and Mary, who would become the mother of Jesus. This fear was evident in both of their responses to the Angel Gabriel at the announcement of these two unexpected births. Zechariah expressed his doubt by saying “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” Mary’s response was similar; “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
For Zechariah’s expressed doubt God shut up his mouth for the next many months until his son was born, but for Mary there was no repercussion for the similar words she had spoken. So what was the difference? How could Mary seem to get away with expressing her own doubts and fears in the very same way that Zechariah did, yet without any reprisal? The answer is that Mary “found favor with God!”
The word “favor” in this famous passage is the Greek word “charis” and means grace. Mary found grace with God all because of Jesus. The word tells us in John 1:17, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” While Zechariah was steeped in the law and all of its regulations and rules, Mary found grace with God through receiving “The Word” about Jesus.
The same factor holds true for us now as it did for Mary way back then. Jesus makes all the difference when it comes to us getting and receiving what we do not deserve. God’s grace and favor has been given to us through Jesus, sparing us from the reprisal that our own doubt, sin and wrong behaviors could bring, and giving to us all of the blessings and favor that the Father has to offer.
Thank God today that you have found favor with Him through His Son, Jesus!