Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Becoming Human Is Not Impossible With God

Luke 1:26-38

I have heard and read the "Christmas Story" countless times in my life and it still touches me today.  It touches me because of the hope it represents for all people.  It represents the hope that comes from our God being willing to humble Himself and come to earth as a human baby and grow up to take our punishment.  It represents the hope that we can have a right relationship with our Creator.  This week, I have explored that only God is both God and human and what that means for us.  Yesterday, I explored how we are to have a humble spirit in the same way Christ did when He came to earth.  On Monday, I explored how the Word of God became human - which is Jesus.  Today, I want to look again at the power of God's spoken word; please read Luke 1:26-38.

I always imagine how young Mary must have been so startled by Gabriel's visit - especially as he was telling her that even though she was a virgin, she would still give birth to a baby boy.  I love the beautiful faith that Mary demonstrates in this part of the story as well.  These few verses are amazing to me and there are so many things that I could focus on, but today I want to focus on a few things that were spoken by Gabriel and Mary in this interaction.  In verse 37 the NLT says, "For nothing is impossible with God."  I LOVE that!  Because nothing is impossible with God. - there is always hope.  After looking at BlueLetterBible.com, I think the NIV translates it a little closer to the original Greek.  It says, "For no word from God will ever fail."

The Greek translated as "word" is rhēma, which can mean the spoken word.  This is not the same Word mentioned in John 1:1 that I looked at on Monday.  The "Word" mentioned in John 1:1 is logos, which also means a spoken word, but it can also mean a mandate or decree.  Logos also represents God's moral precepts and it is also used in reference to prophecy.  Rhēma can be translated as "what one has spoken" (please see footnote 1.).  So basically, the verse could be looked at as "No word from God is impossible."  The other thing that caught my attention is that the word translated as "impossible" is adynateō, which is a verb.  This caught my eye because the English word "impossible" is an adjective.  I have to admit that it is hard for me to grasp the idea of impossible being a verb or an action since I have always learned it as a description.  According to Vine's, it could best be translated into English as "shall be impossible."  To me, this gives a more ongoing relationship to the word than what our English translation can convey.  Another way to look at is the fact that adynateō can also be translated as weak, so we could read this sentence as, "No word from God is powerless."  Either way, this is a powerful statement made by Gabriel!

Knowing this, Mary's response is absolutely innocent and beautiful.  She says, "May your word to me be fulfilled."  Once again, the word, rhēma is used in this sentence.  I wonder if she said this as a direct response to Gabriel's statement about God's word.  I wonder if she was recognizing that Gabriel was giving her a direct statement from God, so she understood that it was not impossible.  When God speaks to us, we can trust that there is power in what He says.  We can trust that whatever God says is possible and will be done with His power.

Do you believe that everything God says is done in His power?

Linking up with Word Filled Wednesday and iFellowship Blog Hop.

1. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for rhēma (Strong's 4487)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 20 Dec 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G4487&t=NLT >

3 comments:

  1. She demonstrated such strength to be able to respond to that angel at all! :) I would have passed flat out! Beautiful post

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  2. I've always thought Mary's response was just as you said, innocent and beautiful. What beautiful faith.
    I believe it when the word says, either, "No word from God is impossible or powerless."
    I have never seen that in those verses before. Thanks Sharon, for bringing this gift to us.
    Merry Christmas.

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