You have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33
Favor. Favor with God. In Greek, favor is charis, which means grace, the loving kindness of the merciful God.
The discovery of the meaning of this word startled me. I have always read this story thinking that God selected Mary because she was special—godly, humble, modest, perfect. But after studying the word “favor,” I believe I had it all wrong. Mary was chosen solely by grace. The same grace that chooses you and me.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10
“Despite all her qualities, God’s choice of Mary to bear his child springs from his grace, not from any inherent merit she possesses. She is the object of God’s unmerited, graciously provided goodness. God acted on her behalf and not because of her.” [Darrell L. Bock, IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Luke (Downers Grove, IL: Crossway, 2018) 92.]
I used to believe that I just needed to follow Mary’s example and God would choose me for some very special purpose. Now I see it’s all grace. I have found favor with God because I am his child. The same goes for you. Our good or bad behavior doesn’t determine God’s favor. Christ’s death gave us grace/favor. Our task then, is to be ready and willing to obey the commission when it comes.
Do you seek to live as a model disciple?
If you do, then do you expect God to favor you with special assignments?
Do you think God has done you a favor and now you have to do him a favor?
Or do you do God a favor and then expect him to repay you with a favor?
Or maybe you think you are too undeserving of any favor from God?
Gracious Savior, thank you for saving me by grace, accepting me and choosing me to do good works for you. Thank you for the reminder that I don’t deserve your assignments based on my behavior but rather based on your grace. I repent of my pride that thinks I am deserving of your favor.
For an edited (an much better written) version of this, please purchase Favored Blessed Pierced: A Fresh Look at Mary of Nazareth, available on Amazon.