How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”

All of this was astonishing news. Mary was told that she would fall pregnant and give birth to a son who would have deity in his bloodline and who would one day be king of Israel. Mary asked the angel how this could possibly take place, since she was a virgin. Literally, what she said was “since a man I know not,” or “since I have no sexual relationship with a man?”

Mary’s question was not one of unbelief! She believed what she was told. She didn’t even ask for some kind of confirmation, as Zechariah had. She simply didn’t understand how she could possibly become pregnant. She did not laugh, as Sarah had laughed when she was told she was going to bear a son. She did not dismiss the angel’s words. She simply asked for clarification about something she believed was going to happen.

The question arises, why did Mary anticipate having a baby before she had sexual relations? Why did she not simply assume that the angel meant she would have a baby after she and Joseph were married? It is doubtful she had Isaiah 7:14 in mind, in which God said a virgin would give birth to a son and call him Immanuel. But something in the tone of the angel’s message led her to understand that she would immediately fall pregnant, before she was married.

The angel answered Mary’s question by explaining that . . .

Mary Would Become Pregnant Through The Miracle-Working Power of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit would come upon Mary and create the child within her womb. That is why the child will be the holy one who is called the Son of God.

The image of the Most High overshadowing Mary reminds us of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of the deep at creation (Genesis 1:2). We also recall the cloud of the glory of the lord that descended upon the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34,35).

Although Mary had not asked for a sign, the angel offered proof to Mary of God’s power by pointing out that . . .

Elizabeth’s Pregnancy Was Proof Of God’s Power

Gabriel told Mary that her relative Elizabeth’s pregnancy was proof that nothing is impossible with God. Elizabeth had never had children and she was past child-bearing age when the angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that Elizabeth would bear a son (Luke 1:19).

The angel’s visit to Mary took place in the sixth month of the pregnancy of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. The significance of this was that after Mary was visited by the angel she was able to visit Elizabeth and see another miracle – that a woman past child-bearing age was pregnant. While not as phenomenal a miracle as what took place in Mary,
Probal Dutta
December 14, 2006
Thanks for these good ideas on Mary. Now I know the importance of Mary
Sam Gore
December 6, 2006
Salvador Miquel Villar
December 1, 2006
Excellent thoughts about who Mary was, pulled out of scripture. Thanks.
Johanna B R Haanstra
November 8, 2006
Yes very good Jesus Christ the God Man. Human and at the same time God