In Luke 1:1-38 scripture gives the account of the coming birth of Jesus. What had been spoken of by prophesy many years before was about to come to be. How could that be?
In verse 12, an angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias, a priest. The angel told him that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son, and that he would call him John. This would be John the Baptist as we know him. Zacharias and his wife were very old, so Zacharias said to the angel, “How can this be? I am an old man, and my wife, Elizabeth is well advanced in years”? In short, he said, “How Can This Be? It is past possible for Elizabeth and Me to bring forth a child. We are too old.”
Well, Elizabeth was indeed pregnant. And she did have the baby John, nine months after the angel’s visit with Zacharias. Now, God’s plan for John to go before Jesus and proclaim His name was in motion.
A short time after this, the angel Gabriel goes to Mary. In verses 30-31, he tells her she is going to have a baby, and hers will be the son of God. At the time, Mary is still a virgin and unmarried, so she doesn’t understand how two humans are going to be parents to the Son of God. So, she said to Gabriel, “How Can It Be? I am not married, and I am still a virgin.” Mary was saying it is not past possible for me to bare a child, but she still asked, “How can it be, given I’m not married yet and I’m still a virgin.”
An angel appeared a third time in the story of Jesus’s birth. This angel goes to Joseph, Mary’s future husband, and tells him that Mary is indeed pregnant with the Son of God and that Joseph should go ahead and take her as his wife. Joseph did not understand how but he understood what was happening. So, he took Mary as his wife. But, if he is anything like the others, he probably said to himself, “How can this be?” Joseph probably thought, not only is it possible it is probable.
- Zacharias was greeted with some amazing news from God. He responded in doubt, “How can this be?”
- Mary was greeted with some amazing news from God. She responded in awe of God, “How can this be?”
- Joseph was greeted with some amazing news from God. He responded in obedience. He did as he was told to do, but asked, “How can this be?”
We are in the time of year when we observe the day of Christ’s birth, Christmas. So, I have a few questions for us:
- How can it be that doubt in what God says to us cannot stop what God wants to work in us?
- How can it be that questioning what doesn’t seem possible yet does not stop God from doing what is not possible yet?
- How can it be that obedience, even when we may not understand, does not hinder God’s plans when He wants to use us?
Well, I don’t know exactly. But this I do know. How can it be that Jesus would be with God; and then He would be born of a virgin; and then He would become flesh and live among us; and He would live and die and be raised again from death for our salvation. How can it be?
Well, this is how. Christmas marks the day Jesus the baby, yet a savior, was born. How can it be that all the things we doubt, all the things we question, all the things we cannot believe possible, all the things we do not understand so we do not obey, will never stop Him from loving us?
I didn’t have an angel visit me today to give me an answer, but this is what I feel. How can these things be possible and how can many more things of God will be possible? Well, it’s because Christmas is the day God made it possible to be given the gifts of you and me and all others who would come to know and love Him. To God, Christ’s birth is the day God Himself was given the most treasured gift He could ever have: the opportunity to love you and to have your life with Him in eternity. How can that be? I don’t know, but I’m glad it is. And I’m glad God is glad to have this day for Himself. Let’s make this a Merry Christmas for the Lord and give Him all our hearts. Merry Christmas Lord. Live a Delivered life. Love you.