God had long promised to visit His people:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Is 9:6-7).
What Gabriel tells Mary is in fulfillment of that promise.
Gabriel tells Mary that, although she is a virgin, she shall conceive a Son. Mary doesn’t understand: virgins do not conceive. The angel informs Mary the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she shall conceive. Not only shall the virgin Mary conceive but her relative Elizabeth (whether a cousin or some other relative we do not know – the Greek term had both meanings), well advanced in years, was in her sixth month of pregnancy. All of this was possible, because “nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk 1:37).
That verse is often taken out of context and even causes uncontrollable laughter among infidels. Can God really do anything? Can He make a ball that is both a sphere and a square? Can He make a rock so big that He cannot lift it? If we divorce the verse from its original context and carry it out to its logical conclusion, God can lie, commit immorality, and sin in innumerable other ways. Even suggesting so seems blasphemous to me.
In the context of Luke 1, Gabriel means that neither Mary nor Elizabeth’s physical limitations will stop the Almighty God from fulfilling His purpose. The same is true today. All of us, no matter our physical limitations can be used for God in fulfilling His purpose. Mary’s virginity and Elizabeth’s bareness would not keep the Creator from overpowering their bodies; in fact, His work in their lives would speak volumes about His power. My difficulty walking, your pain, your paralysis can be used by God to teach the world. The world can see in us a faith that endures despite the need of a wheelchair, the world can see joy in deep pain, and the world can see a determination to walk with God in spite of paralysis. Because nothing is impossible with God, go forth today and be salt and light – show the world that in spite of your disability God can use you powerfully in His kingdom. As you do so, He will walk with you as He has walked with me!