Summary: How God announced to Mary she would give birth to the Savior of the world.
December 22, 2002 Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “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.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Angels don’t make a habit of appearing to people in the middle of nowhere. There are actually very few examples of it happening in Scriptures. Jacob was visited by angels several times in his life - on his way from and back to Israel. The angel of the Lord appeared to Moses to tell him to set his people free. One appeared to rescue the three men from the fiery furnace. Usually when they did appear, it was at crucial moments in the history of the Israelites - when God’s select few needed assurance and protection. Therefore, when Luke starts out his narrative with a story about an angel appearing - both to Zechariah and then ALSO to Mary, we know something special is about to take place - something that has never happened in the history of the world. Seemingly out of nowhere, God was about to announce his eternal plans in specific detail to one young and insignificant lady living in Nazareth. God told Mary -
I’ve Got a Surprise for You
I. The plan
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The background of this narrative might seem small and insignificant in the big picture of things - where Mary was living and who she was engaged to. But this engagement was all important, as it connected her to a greater promise made long ago through the prophet Jeremiah “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” (23:5) Even though Mary was a seemingly insignificant young lady living in a small village, God was going to use her womb to turn the whole world upside down.
Gabriel said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. Notice, first of all, Mary’s initial reaction to the angel’s greeting. She was “greatly troubled” and “wondered” what kind of greeting this might be. The angel had literally told Mary that she was about to be the recipient of an undeserved gift of God. What kind of a gift would this be? Why was this angel appearing to HER, a simple and sinful servant of the Lord? Something big was about to happen - but she didn’t know what.
So Gabriel went on . . You will be with child and give birth to a son. The whole concept of giving birth is a miracle in and of itself. If you’ve ever seen pictures of how a sperm and an egg unite and then quickly form into eyes, ears, legs, and the whole human body is a miraculous thing. It’s what we call “pregnancy.” But here, Gabriel was telling Mary - a virgin - that she was going to have a son. That right there would be enough to absolutely put any woman into shock. But Gabriel wasn’t done.