“‘And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give 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.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’" (Luke 1:31-34).
How do you respond to commands or statements made by God in the Scriptures? Do you respond in faith, doubt, or even by questioning God? If you question how God is goes about carrying out His Will, does this necessarily mean you doubt His ability to carry out what He has said He will do?
In the 1st chapter of the gospel of Luke we see two situations where a person had questions following the revealing of God’s Will to them. First, through the Angel of the Lord, God reveals to Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son, whose name would be called John (Luke 1:11-13). Because Zacharias and Elizabeth were old, Zacharias questions God’s Will. “And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years’ ” (Luke 1:18). There was nothing necessarily wrong with Zacharias wondering how God would accomplish this task. However, what was a problem was that Zacharias doubted God could accomplish this. The angel of the Lord rebukes Zacharias for his doubt in God: “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” (Luke 1:20). Because he doubted God’s ability to carry out His Will Zacharias would be unable to speak until after his son John was born (Luke 1:57-64).
Later in the same chapter, the angel Gabriel comes to a virgin named Mary and reveals God’s Will to her: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give 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” (Luke 1:31-33). Like Zacharias above, she also questions how God is going to accomplish His Will regarding this since she is a virgin. She says, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34). Gabriel reveals to her how God carry this out. “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’ ” (Luke 1:35).
Why was Zacharias rebuked for questioning God’s Will, but Mary was not? The reason for the difference is Zacharias doubted God (cf. Luke 1:20), but Mary did not. Although, as a virgin, Mary wondered how God would carry out His Will for her to bear a child, she nonetheless had faith that He could do it. In her response to the hearing of God’s Will for her she says, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38; cf. Luke 1:45; 46-49).
Wondering how God is going to accomplish His Will is not a bad thing. For example, have you wondered at how God is going to resurrect people who have been cremated, blown apart in battle, or eaten by fish at the bottom of the ocean? I have wondered about such things; however, without a doubt, I believe God can do it. That is they key! There is nothing wrong with wondering how God will accomplish His Will, but we must not doubt His ability to carry out His Word. Today, I will not doubt God’s ability, but I will place my faith in Him and rejoice that nothing is impossible for God!
“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).