Blessings and Favor
A little over 2000 years ago, a young girl gave birth to the Savior of the world. She was young, unmarried, and didn’t even have a roof over her head. Yet the Bible called her blessed and highly favored (Luke 1:42 and 1:28). Mary and so many others in this beloved story of our Savior’s coming possessed both blessing and favor, but not according to the world’s standards.
Elizabeth and Zechariah, a faithfully devout couple unto the Lord, were childless late in life (Luke 1:6-7). Zechariah received word from God’s angelic messenger that he and his wife would have a baby despite their age and that this baby would “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17) Elizabeth marveled at this way God chose to favor her (Luke 1:23).
While Mary’s relative Elizabeth carried inside of her the one who would prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry on Earth, Mary herself was a virgin but now pregnant. Mary rushed to Elizabeth’s home to tell her the news. Though unwed, surely to be scorned by the public and at risk of losing her fiancé Joseph, Elizabeth declared that Mary was favored, and her child would be blessed! (Luke 1:42)
John the Baptist, born to two elderly parents of faith, was chosen by God to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). While still in his mother’s womb, John leaped when Mary, newly pregnant, arrived to greet his mother. This much-anticipated baby that his parents had longed for even into their old age would grow to be God’s messenger who would prepare the way for Jesus (Malachi 3:1). Yet, despite this high calling from the Lord, John lived in the wilderness, survived off eating locust, and was unpopular among the religious leaders of that time. He was jailed for rebuking evil (Luke 3:33) and eventually beheaded. Some may ask where the favor was that his mother had thanked God for.
Then there was the Son of Mary, God in the flesh. Mary’s baby was the Savior that their people had been waiting for; the Savior that had last been prophesied about 400 years earlier when Malachi reminded the Israelites of God’s promised redemption plan for them. Yet even though he came to give his life for sinners, most mocked and rejected him.
You see, all the people God used in His wonderful plan through Jesus to redeem the lost relationship with Him that man had suffered in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned were blessed and favored because God chose them. They were part of God’s plan to bring Salvation to them, to you, and me.
For those who are true followers of our King, we are blessed and favored every day with his presence and the opportunity to be called his children. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4-5). To those whom he calls His children, the ones who know and love Him, Salvation is ours.
We are blessed and favored indeed.