““Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!””
Something hit me different this year when my pastor read these verses. It had everything to do with who Joseph was.
You know those people who are part of the “inside crowd”? That had to be Joseph. He probably wasn’t rich, but he was connected. His connections had everything to do with his lineage… something he had nothing to do with, but God had to have taken into consideration when he chose Mary, his fiancé, to give birth to Jesus.
Mary may have been less afraid because she wasn’t in the direct line of David (I’m guessing). This is important because Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would be in the line of David. Even though David wasn’t Mary’s great-grandfather 14 generations up the family tree, she was engaged to somebody who was in the line of David.
Being in David’s bloodline was a big deal. Today, we have ancestry.com because we don’t know our lineage. Back then, especially if you were a Jew, even more if you had “important lineage”, you would have known who your ancestors were. It was your identification, your pedigree.
Here’s the point… Joseph’s lineage could have been a major source of comfort after the angel said she was going to have a child… (freak out)… in the line of David… (whew!) …who was in Joseph’s lineage. She would have had peace/assurance that God had a perfect plan.
I usually hear people teaching about how scared and confused Mary would have been. At the risk of being rude (not my goal), I think they’re not paying attention to the verses. The angel is very specific about not being afraid. If frightening Mary was the goal, the angel for sure could have taken a different approach.
Here’s the application… when we freak out, knowing our spiritual lineage (a child of our creator), we can, instead, rest assured God has a perfect plan. People are repeatedly instructed through scripture to “not be afraid”. That plan may not begin or end with us like it did with Mary. We may not wind up in a barn with celestial visitors singing to our baby. However, we can rest on the fact God is in control, even though the resolution to what we’re freaked out about may not come quickly, or even before our death.
Also published on Medium.