The angel Gabriel speaks of the mystery of Christ’s incarnation in a reverent and discreet manner (Luke 1.35).  We shall do well to follow this example in all our reflections on this deep subject, regarding it with holy reverence and abstaining from speculations.  Scripture reveals the truth (John 1.14; Hebrews 10.5; 2.14; Galatians 4.4) and there we must stop, not prying beyond this point.  In a religion that comes down from heaven, there must needs be mysteries.

The angel Gabriel lays down a mighty principle to silence all objections about the incarnation (verse 37).  A hearty reception of this great principle is of immense importance to our own inward peace.  Among many antidotes to a doubting, questioning state of mind, few will be found more useful than that before us now – a thorough conviction of the almighty power of God.  Faith never rests so calmly and peacefully as when it lays its head on the pillow of God’s omnipotence.

The Virgin Mary gives meek and ready acquiescence to God’s revealed will concerning her (verse 38).  There is far more of admirable grace in this answer than at first appears.  A moment’s reflection will show us that it was no light matter to become the mother of our Lord in this unheard-of and mysterious way.  It brought with it, no doubt, at a distant period, great honor, but it brought with it, for the present, no small danger to Mary’s reputation and no small trial to Mary’s faith.  But, she asks no further questions.  She raises no further objections.  She accepts the honor laid upon her with all its attendant perils and inconveniences.

Let us seek, in our daily practical Christianity, to exercise the same blessed spirit of faith.  Let us be willing to go anywhere, and do anything, and be anything, whatever be the present inconvenience, so long as God’s will is clear and the path of duty is plain. – J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), meditating on Luke 1.34-38.


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