The angel Gabriel had a special message for Mary, a revelation of God’s plan for her. How did she respond?
1. Mary was perplexed
When Mary first encountered the angel, she was “greatly troubled” (Luke 1:29). But that doesn’t mean that she was angry or upset. It means that she was confused or puzzled. She didn’t know what to make of it. It says she “tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.” She just didn’t know what to make of it.
There’s nothing wrong with being perplexed by God. To often people refuse to allow themselves confused by God, and they force His word into their own nice, neat, preconceived world view. But not Mary. She recognized that what God told her through the angel was beyond anything within her knowledge or experience so far.
2. Mary sought deeper understanding
Mary wasn’t content to remain confused and sought deeper understanding. In response to the message, she asked the angel to explain. When she said, “How will this be, since I am a virgin” (Luke 1:34), it was not a challenge. She was not arguing with the angel or suggesting that he was wrong. She wanted to better understand what he had told her.
3. Mary submitted fully to God’s will
As it became more clear to Mary what God willed, she submitted herself to it. She declared herself God’s servant (Luke 1:38), literally His slave. She would do anything He asked without reservation and submit to anything He willed.
4. Mary believed or trusted
Soon after the angel left, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth observed that Mary “believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45). Mary believed that what God said was true. And she trusted that He would do what He said He would.
5. Mary praised the Lord
Finally. Mary’s ultimate response was to praise God for what He had done. She praised him for what he had done for her. She praised Him for His holiness. She praised Him for His strength. She magnified Him and gave Him glory.