THE OUTCAST WHO WASN’T AN OUTCAST
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.
The virgin’s name was Mary.
Luke 1:26-27 NKJV
Among the women in the family of Jesus Christ, Mary appears to be the only one without a bad reputation. When we compare Mary to Rahab the harlot or Ruth the Moabite, she shines above the rest, but this was not always the case.
We perceive Mary from this side of the cross, but when Mary was pregnant with the Messiah, many considered her an outcast. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the outcast who really wasn’t an outcast.
We view Mary as the highly favored one, but her critics were less than favorable. An unmarried pregnant teen barely turns heads in our society. Just decades ago, she would be the black sheep of the family, but in Mary’s day, it was an ultimate disgrace.
Scripture doesn’t shed light on the glaring stares and name-calling young Mary endured. Ridicule ran rampant.
Joseph wanted to divorce Mary, which was the only legal way to end a betrothal. A divine messenger appeared to Joseph and revealed the truth: Mary was a virgin. Mary had not been a sinful outcast, but an obedient saint.
When God extends a great calling, it comes with great criticism. God never said it would be easy.
How did Mary deal with the biting whispers of others? She found peace in the home of her relative, Elizabeth. She surrounded herself with “those who celebrated her rather than those who tolerated her.”*
Mary demonstrated courage for the challenges ahead. As women and moms, do we possess courage in our spiritual walk?
Mary displayed strong faith. This young teen never doubted God for one second. We all need to grow in the faith department. Yes, all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed, but is it genuine? Is it Faith that never fails? Is it faith void of fear?
At the foot of the cross, God bestowed tremendous strength upon the grieving Mary. She held it together. She didn’t have a meltdown. We can look at Mary’s composure and see the evidence of God’s mighty hand.
Friend, have you been wrongly judged? Have you felt out of place? God pours out the same blessings upon all His children, not just Mary. He still extends courage, faith, and strength.
Can we exemplify the same qualities found in this most blessed of all women? Seek for the faith that moves mountains. Stand boldly in the strength of the Lord.
Heavenly Father, help us demonstrate the courage, faith, and strength You gave Mary. Help us tap into the gifts You have given us to accomplish mighty deeds. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Read Luke 1:26-45.
HIKING THE TRAIL
What gave Mary the courage to face such an enormous task? How could you exercise more courage, faith, and strength in your life?
*Original source unknown, but I have heard this quote from the wise lips of Kathy Crabb Hannah.
Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.