Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The story of the Virgin Mary is of intense interest to all who are longing for Jesus to come again, as He promised (John 14:1-3).
She had something in common with that special group, the "144,000” mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5. They "follow the Lamb [the crucified Christ] wherever He goes.” They do not resist or seek to evade the call. She said "yes” to the angel sent from the Father to announce to her the decision to choose her to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:28-37). She did ask one question which was very appropriate and did not express any unbelief: "How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (vs. 34).
Otherwise, she offered no resistance or unbelief. Here was a call from heaven that totally would change the course of her life from then on; her sincere question answered, she readily agreed, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (vs. 38).
We search long to find a definition of what it means to "believe.” Well, here it is. The old lady Elizabeth used Mary's ready submission as a definition of faith. She said of Mary, "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (vs. 45; the word "blessed” means to be happy).
The "144,000” (obviously a symbolic number), have in the last days replicated Mary's happy consecration of herself to the Lord; they have done what the angel of great power says to do, "Come out of [Babylon], My people” (Rev. 18:1-4). These people are convicted of truth from God's word, truth that their family may not believe, nor their church, nor society in general. They are willing to step out for the sake of Christ and be considered "different” (cf. 1 Peter 2:9, KJV, for the word "peculiar”).
The "144,000” maybe for a long lifetime have endured opposition and even persecution from their family, their parents, or even their children. But just as the Virgin Mary was "blessed” (made happy), so this special group enjoy the gift of happiness in their submission of self to "the Lamb.”
When the Holy Spirit speaks to you through the Word, don't hesitate to respond with an enthusiastic "Yes.” Here I am, the child of God!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread” Archive: December 16, 2007.
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