Mary Did you Choose?

In this time of year, we talk about how Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.  Mary had a unique experience, she is the only woman in history to have a baby while being a virgin.  Mary had an incredible opportunity, but did Mary choose it?  Of course, Mary told the angel that she is the Lord’s servant in the book of Luke, but Gabriel didn’t really give Mary or Joseph an option.  The angel said “you will have a baby”.  It wasn’t an option, Mary was chosen to be the mother of the Savior.  I think so often we are in the same boat, that God assigns us, picks us, chooses us and calls us to do something.  We are chosen to carry a burden, we are picked to share a message, we are assigned to a ministry or a calling.  We didn’t choose it, God calls us to do it, so what is our responsibility in this?  Mary didn’t pick to be the mother of the Messiah, but she had a role.

Mary is a woman of faith, she was open to be the Lord’s Servant, she was virtuous and the type of person the Lord would use.  Likewise, Joseph was an honest man, a faithful man, a servant of the Lord.  Mary and Joseph put themselves in a place where God would use them.  They were obedient, they were faithful, they were open to be used by God.  This Christmas season, what are we doing?  We push so hard to be doing the right things, to be working in the right places, but this Christmas season, we need to take an example from Mary and Joseph.  They were faithful in their day to day lives and God showed up in a big way.

This Christmas season, I want to be open to be a blessing.  I want to be available, I want to be ready and I want to be found faithful.  Praying, loving and caring, being honest and trustworthy and putting myself in a place that God could call me, choose me, use me and do amazing things in my life.  I don’t know what God is going to do in the future, I don’t know when Jesus will come back, or when I will enter eternity.  Mary had no idea when the Messiah would come, but she just did what she was suppose to do.  God was faithful in His promise to bring the Messiah to Israel, and Mary was faithful and found herself chosen to be remembered and celebrated at Christmas.  When God shows up in a big way, will He find us being faithful, being honest and open?  Will we be the type of people He chooses?


  1. cb scott says

    “This Christmas season, I want to be open to be a blessing. I want to be available, I want to be ready and I want to be found faithful. Praying, loving and caring, being honest and trustworthy and putting myself in a place that God could call me, choose me, use me . . . ”

    Amen. May this be the prayer of every person who visits this blog, SBC Voices.

    Thank you, Dan Barnes, for this good Christmas post.

  2. Ron F. Hale says

    Merry Christmas my Brother!

    Respectfully, I see it a tad differently, you said:

    “…but Gabriel didn’t really give Mary or Joseph an option. The angel said “you will have a baby”. It wasn’t an option, Mary was chosen to be the mother of the Savior.”

    In v.31 Gabriel tells Mary that she will be with child and give birth. The conception is still in the near future.

    Gabriel continues to explain the mission of this child.

    Mary asks the “how” question – since she is a virgin.

    In v. 35, Gabriel explains how the Holy Spirit will come upon her (this has not happened as of yet).

    In v. 36, Gabriel explains what has happened to Elizabeth and the miracle pregnancy of this child since Elizabeth was barren and old.

    In v.37 Gabriel delivers the words that (I believe) turns her fear into faith, he says, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

    Then in v. 38 we see the surrender of Mary’s heart to this calling, she says, “I am the Lord’s servant …May it be to me as you have said.”

    I see that God chose her to do His will and she chose God in doing His will. I see the sovereignty of God at work and the free will of man (Mary).


  3. Bill Mac says

    I think we have to remember that God does not simply show up out of the blue and grab someone at random for an assignment. I believe Mary had free will, but I also believe God was at work shaping her nature and character her whole life. The Potter molded a vessel to perform the particular task He had for her. She could not refuse, not because she did not possess free will, but because she was not the kind of person who would refuse.

    On the whole, I think it is clear that God does allow us the freedom to refuse Him, but sometimes He doesn’t take no for an answer. See Jonah for details.

    • says

      Jonah, Moses, Abram, Isaiah, Jeremiah, everyone who God chose, there has never been a plan B. Paul didn’t have a lot of option, Jesus just showed up and said “you are gonna work for me now”.

  4. says

    Dan –

    Excellent post and challenge. I agree with you and can see God’s sovereignty reigning here, and I am grateful for it; I wouldn’t want a God who could be surprised by events or our “choices.”

    I do not see Mary exercising her “free will” since as a faithful believer, she is a slave to righteousness. It seems in the race towards “free will” we forget that ALL of humanity lives in a state of slavery of one sort or another: either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness.

    Satan LIES to those in slavery to sin by saying you have freedom to choose and if you choose Jesus, you will loose that freedom. The only choice is which master do we serve: money, power, sex, drugs, fame, friends, acceptance, adulation, body image, etc.

    When we become believers enslaved to righteousness, we often continue to believe we have freedom to choose and never fully embrace that we “have been bought with a price.” We are REDEEMED from a tortuous task-master TO a loving master whose “yoke is easy” and whose “burden is light;” but, there are a yoke and burden nonetheless.

    I think Mary & Joseph understood this in ways most Americans, most Baptists do not: they didn’t have a choice except for the one made for them by God Almighty. Mary did not give consent or approval to God’s plan, but was pleading that it would be so: “may it be (please let it be) done to me as you have said (I’ll be heartbroken if it doesn’t come to pass).”

    Last month I was inspired to make “Build Your Kingdom Here” the theme for the youth for the next year. I hope that your desire, by God’s grace in spite of me, will be the desire of my youth and their friends.

    I pray they are floored by the idea that God pursues, seeks, calls, chooses them rather than them conjuring up the desire to seek Him; or at the very least, they are humoring their parents to be present at youth.

    I hope they are uncharacteristically awed by Eph 2:10 and embrace His desire for their lives rather than their own. I wish them not to seek after the notion of their free will to choose their destiny; that was/is Satan’s lie to those who are in bondage to sin.

    I hope they revel in being in bondage to righteousness.

    My Christmas prayer is that the Father builds his kingdom in my heart and the hearts of The Garage, through them, He expands His kingdom in our church, and through them He further builds in our schools and community.

    My His reign never end and never cease to amaze.