To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. – Luke 1.27-30
I can’t even imagine this scene as it played out. Out in Nowheresville an angle appeared to speak to the ultimate Nobody. A young woman named Mary was the Nobody and Nazareth was the Nowheresville. Mary might have been as young as 14-15 and she was the promised future bride of a man named Joseph. In case there is any doubt the Luke makes it clear that that we know she is a virgin.
Mary is sitting in Nazareth minding her own business and probably thinking of her upcoming wedding.
Out of nowhere an angel appears to her – that must have been a shock in itself – but then he spoke. ‘Hail Mary, you are highly favoured, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.’
Of course she was troubled. What could all this mean? Can you imagine your 14 year old daughter or granddaughter or niece being in this situation?
Then came great words of comfort – ‘fear not Mary.’
Those words ‘fear not’ are words that God gives us over and over in His word. ‘Fear not for I am with…fear not, neither be afraid’ are regular reminders in God’s word.
None of knows what the future holds – none of knows what today holds, but we can take comfort in those wonderful words ‘fear not’ for we too have found God’s favour in our salvation.