Luke Experience The Beginning Of Jesus’ Ministry

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Start Survey Singing God’s Mercy and Kindness

“How could this happen?” Have you ever found yourself saying something like that? When we are challenged by a situation that puts our faith and trust in God to the test, we all react differently. 

Thousands of years ago, two different people were visited by the same angel–Gabriel. It was an event entirely out of the ordinary, something unquestionably extraordinary. The angel gave incredible news to both of them. 

The first person Gabriel visited was an aged priest–Zechariah, married to Elizabeth. He had served God faithfully and obeyed for years, but he did not have any children. The second person Gabriel visited was an unmarried teenager named Mary.

Mary and Zechariah both received a similar message–they were each going to welcome a baby boy. Their reactions to this news were similar and different at the same time. At first, they were both astonished–both of them asked the angel how this could happen. Zechariah’s astonishment was due to the fact that he and his wife were very old. Mary’s astonishment was caused by the fact that she was not married.

What was the difference between their reactions? Zechariah did not believe the angel. Because of his unbelief, he was not able to speak until after the baby’s birth. Mary’s reaction was completely different–she humbly answered, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said” (Luke 1:38 CEV). Mary’s submission is the true mark of a disciple; she offered her life entirely to serve God’s purpose even though it could cause her reputation and future to suffer greatly.

When God fulfilled his promises to each of them, they both responded in song. Their songs focused on God’s mercy and kindness as God prepared to send Jesus into the world. Mary sang, “God helps his servant Israel and is always merciful to his people. The Lord made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his family, forever!” (1:54, 55). While Zechariah sang, “God said he would be kind to our people and keep his sacred promise” (1:72). 

Mary and Zechariah—two very different people who both found themselves singing praises for God’s mercy, which endures to all generations. 

Reflect

Have you ever experienced God’s mercy and kindness even though you know you did not deserve it? What is your response to “impossible” situations?

Pray

Jesus, awaken my heart to receive your infinite mercy and overflowing kindness. 

Respond

Write your own song of worship to God in response to his mercy toward you. 

Jesus, I worship you. Thank you for bringing us your mercy and kindness! Nothing is impossible for God!

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