And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Mary’s response to the angel’s commission to give birth to the Savior of the mankind is nothing short of extraordinary and deserves digging into. While I am not a Greek scholar, a little internet searching reveals a rich gold mine of truth.
This simple phrase “let it be to me”, genoito (ginomai) in Greek, means “to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place” (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 109). It is written in the voluntary mood indicating a wish and the middle voice meaning it was done to her. Putting these together, we get something like this: This is my voluntary wish that this be done to me—that my condition change to be what you say.
Mary was giving a firm, binding “Yes” to God. She was, in effect, saying, “I see what you are doing, Lord, and I give myself heart and soul to your plan. I voluntary sign up”.
The depth of Mary’s response is further emphasized when we look at the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 6:1-2. Here, he used me genoito, the opposite form of “let it be to me”: What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means (me genoito)! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Further internet searching reveals how vehement Paul was. To demonstrate how much he refused to accept this idea, he used the strongest word possible—akin to a swear word. By no means! May it never be! Absolutely not! God forbid! No way! In outrageous indignation, Paul exclaimed “h-e-double-hockey-sticks…NO!”
With that insight, we can surmise that Mary’s response was just as forceful. She was saying “Absolutely, unequivocally, [strong expression]…YES!”
I am brought up short by Mary’s quick surrender of her will and future to God’s plan. Too many times, I respond to God’s call with a timid, “Ok, if you want me to, I’ll try” or “Well, if you insist, I don’t think I can do it, but….” Mary gave no list of buts, no conditions, no hesitation…just yes! And that yes went without any explanation of the details, guarantee of the results or assurance of other’s reactions.
When I read Mary’s response, my mind immediately jumps to a well-known phrase spoken by Captain Pickard of Star Trek fame. Whenever he wished for something to happen, he simply said, “Make it so”. With complete faith in her God, Mary replied, “Make it so”. And following her example, so do I.
What is God asking you to do? How will you respond?
Lord, as I look to the New Year, would you “make it so”? I surrender my will and believe that your plans are best. Sign me up for whatever you wish. H-e-double-hockey-sticks, YES.