What is salvation? That is the question we recently asked our Sunday school class. After receiving various responses, we turned to John 17:3 where the bible says "Now this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."
Did you notice the term "know you"? To know someone means you learn them, their ways, their thoughts, ideas and perspectives. Jesus is teaching that as we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we enter into a relationship with the Father. Like a marriage, this relationship is cultivated via communication, bilateral trust and quality time. As we do these things, we learn the various nuances of our spouse which leads us into an intimate fulfilling relationship.
We see the power of relationship as we look at an interaction between Mary and the angel Gabriel. Gabriel appears to the young virgin Mary in the ill-reputed city of Nazareth. He tells her "Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you…do not be afraid Mary; for you have found favor with God". Gabriel then proceeds to tell Mary that she will give birth to the Son of the Most High God. She will name Him Jesus. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and His kingdom will have no end. Curious, Mary asks, how can this be since I am a virgin? Gabriel responds that the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High God will overshadow you. Look at Mary's response "Behold, the bondservant of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your Word (v38) WOW!!! She does not ask any more questions. She does not try to talk her way out of it. She simply accepts the mission.
What enables Mary to make such a powerful statement? Her relationship. As evident in Luke 1:28 and 30, Mary already had a strong relationship with the Lord before the angel Gabriel appears. She is not some random person chosen to be the incubator of the Lord. She is a vessel of the Lord with a cultivated relationship.
It is out of this relationship that Mary considered her a bondservant. As she looked in the mirror, she did not see an individual with selfish aspirations. She saw an individual willing and able to serve the Lord in any capacity. Her life was not her own. She belonged to the Lord.
This relationship also served as the basis for her faith. Mary trusted God with her body and her future. She did not allow the potential ridicule and shame of an unexplainable pregnancy to deter her. She trusted the Lord with all of her heart. She did not lean on her understanding but in always trusted the Lord and allowed him to direct her path. This is the type of trust the author of Hebrews references in the faith Hall of Fame when he says that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:3) These men and women had an unrelenting faith that allowed them to do the unimaginable for the Lord. (Hebrews 11)
In addition to an unrelenting faith, Mary was also trustworthy. The Father was trusting her with His only begotten Son. He trusted Mary enough to utilize her as the vehicle to birth and raise the Savior.
This same trust is also critical to our relationship with our spouse. How can we have a strong unbreakable bond with someone that we do not trust? Trust allows us to lower the steel plated barrier surrounding our heart so that we can love and be loved. It serves as a foundation in which we have engaging conversation and consistently scintillating sex. Trust says I love you enough to expose myself to any potential heartache you can inflict upon me.
That being said, are you trustworthy? Mary was trustworthy which allowed her to be blessed and to be a blessing. What about you? Can the Father trust you to carry out His missions? Can your spouse consistently count on you? Continuously strive to be trustworthy and Watch Your Marriage Succeed!!!