As·sur·ance [ ə shoorənss ]
- the state of being assured: as security: a being certain in the mind: a confidence of mind or manner
- pledge or promise: a declaration that inspires or is intended to inspire confidence
- certainty: freedom from uncertainty
The Scriptures ask us to believe that Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant and that this was a miraculous work of God. We are told that it was communicated to her by an angel, not just any angel but an angel with a name, Gabriel who dates back to the time of the Babylonian Captivity and the prophet Daniel and long before that time. When your angel comes with a name and noteriety you should pay very, very close attention!
Not only that but we are asked to believe that this soon coming child was Jesus the Messiah, Immanuel, God with us, the promised Savior. And Joseph is asked to believe this too. And yes Mary also!
The Bible does not mince words and presents the incarnation, God come in the flesh as fact. However God recognizes our own internal needs for proofs and reassurance when it comes to miraculous and supernatual things. Especially ones of such enormous consequence.
So the Scriptures (mainly through Matthew and Luke) provide us additional testimony and events to bring assurance to us that all this is trustworthy and true.
As I have looked at the Biblical accounts I am fascinated with all the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. And the longer I have pondered them the more I am convinced that these assurances were first and foremost for Mary’s sake. It would seem odd that Mary would need any further assurance after the angel came.
But notice that right after the announcement the angel in essence says “Go visit Elizabeth, no one in your town knows about the miracle she’s carrying but she who was barren all her life and was written off as too old to have children is pregnant.” Boom!
I think Mary might need a bit more encouraging assurance than even we 21st century readers. She does not know the middle or the end of this story for she is starting from the beginning. She would need these prophetic faith-builders as she is actually living out this amazing adventure in “real-time” not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
Our assurance will come as we hear of her assurances. Shepherds, Simon and Anna, Magi… These signs and assurances will build and sustain faith. Let us ponder and treasure God’s interaction in the life of Mary and Joseph.
The wonderful and amazing thing is that God has not stopped confirming His word in the lives of His people today. Are you looking to God to intervene supernaturally in your life? He’s still in the business of bringing assurance… blessed assurance!