Last week with my staff, we continued the theme of discipleship. This series has been awesome, teaching us as believers, how to mentor others by investing in their lives. When Jesus made disciples, He mentored them. He invested in them day and night, teaching them how to know God and follow Him by giving them practical assignments along the way, as they saw Him minister. It was a life changing experience that He wants us to experience and pass on. All people need to be discipled/mentored. This was and is God’s plan. His Word is full of the idea. We have looked at the mentoring experience from many different angles, studying the mentoring relationship between such people as:
There are many more in the Bible, ones we were not able to cover in these six short weeks.
Our passage this past week was from Luke 1.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David ; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary ; for you have found favor with God. 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High ; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David ; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin ?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age ; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord ; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. 39 Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb ; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb ! 43 “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.”
I. Mary seeks a mentor
Mary, a young, virgin girl engaged to Joseph is visited by an angel with some awesome news. She has been chosen by God to be the mother of the Christ. God did not just randomly choose Mary. There were some prophecies that had to met for her to be the chosen one. She had to be of the lineage of king David, and she was. That was not of her choosing. In other words, she did not have any control over that. She did have control over her attitude, obedience to the will of the Lord, and her virginity. Mary, being a good Jewish girl, was taught about the importance of virginity from an early age. She maintained her purity and was ready to offer the gift of her virginity to her husband on her wedding night. God reveals that she has been chosen to fulfill the prophecies and give birth to the long awaited Messiah. Mary is afraid of the consequences. Her life is put in danger because she is not married yet will be pregnant. How would she explain that her purity remained in place, even though she was unmarried and pregnant? She could have been stoned according to Jewish Law, because she was found to be pregnant and unmarried. In order to have clarity on the subject, she asks the angel for help in understanding God’s will. He explains a few things, like how it will happen but he does not tell her how to deal with the situation that this pregnancy will create. In the midst of his explanation, he mentions that Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, is already 6 months pregnant. Mary immediately understands what the angel has in mind in telling her about Elizabeth and she seeks her out as a mentor. But, before she runs to Elizabeth for help, she reveals her attitude and character when she states that she is the Lord’s bondservant and that she accepts the will of the Lord in her life.
Are you like Mary? Do you walk in the Lord’s will no matter what? Do you see yourself as the Lord’s bondservant? Do you keep your sexuality pure, whether married or not? Do you see the need for having a mentor in your life? Are you on the lookout for a good mentor?
II. Elizabeth is able to mentor Mary
People are looking for mentors but there are few who are qualified to be good mentors. Elizabeth was a great mentor because she had been taught to walk with the Lord. Her lineage runs back to Aaron, the priestly lineage. Elizabeth had been taught by her parents to walk with the Lord. She followed God’s guidance and ended up marrying a priest herself. They were righteous before the Lord. The lived out the godly principles that they both had been taught. Elizabeth was filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit, which is necessary if you want to walk with the Lord and be a good mentor. Elizabeth had the Lord’s wisdom, and as a result, recognized Mary’s distress. She jumped in to help by mentoring Mary in her time of need. Right away she blesses Mary and the Baby in her womb. The natural reaction would be to condemn yet Elizabeth was wise and knew God’s power to work all things for good. Plus, she recognized the Lord’s hand at work in this situation. Elizabeth is an example for Mary. She had experienced God’s miracle in conceiving a child in her old age, well passed her childbearing age. She knew the Lord and recognized Jesus as her Lord. Elizabeth encourages Mary in her faith, that she trusted in the Word of God and encourages her to continue by showing her how to do it through her own example. Elizabeth is quick to advise Mary, to encourage her, to strengthen her faith, and to help her through this difficult time in her life. She has the experience that Mary lacks. As a result, Mary is encouraged to bring the Son of God and Savior of the world into the world for the good of all mankind. Mentoring a person has eternal consequences way greater than we can ever imagine.
Are you ready to mentor others? Are you in a position to be a good mentor? Do you already walk with the Lord? Have you already been mentored so that you know how to mentor others? Do you have the wisdom to see negative situations as a chance to reach out a mentor someone who is hurting, confused, and scared? May the Lord help us be mentored and become great mentors.