Highly Favored, Greatly Blessed, and Much Graced
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:26-28 NKJV)
The Greek word translated “highly favored” is “charitoo.” It also means
to be greatly blessed and endued with grace. Much grace. How wonderful it would be to have an angel reveal to us that of all persons, we are “highly favored, greatly blessed, and much graced” by God.
Mary’s initial response is understandable. But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. (Luke 1:29 NASB). She did not see herself as special, or deserving of this salutation. Mary knew she was only an ordinary Jewish girl, a chaste virgin, like many other girls were at that time.
Now, I have a surprise for you. The word “charitoo” is used only one other time in the Bible. And guess who it is used concerning? You!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3, 6 NKJV)
The verb rendered “made us accepted,” in this verse is the same verb used in Luke 1:28, to refer to Mary, and found no where else in the New Testament. So, God is saying to us here the exact same thing He said to Mary through Gabriel. We are “highly favored, greatly blessed, and much graced.” That is how God regards us in Christ. Wow!
Child of God, believer in Jesus, is it okay to put Mary on a pedestal? Yes, just as long as you don’t forget to place yourself there as well! After all, that’s where God has placed you, “in the Beloved.”
Merry Christmas, you highly favored one!