Luke 1:26-38 BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD
1:26 The angel Gabriel also announced Zechariah's birth to his parents. The sixth month refers to Elizabeth's pregnancy. This little tidbit brings so much life to this story because when the two ladies meet later, we have a timeline to show they are both pregnant, one six months further along.
1:27 Mary was a young, poor, female. She was considered unusable in society, yet God used her in a most grand way. I may not feel capable, but God can use me in ways that I may never imagine. Why is the virgin birth important to the Christian faith? Jesus was born without the sin that entered the world through Adam. Jesus was God's son, not man's son, free of sin. Being born of a woman made him man; being born of God made him holy. He was both man and God. He experienced life as we do and He understands what we are going through. For Mary's soon-to-be husband Joseph, the fact that she was already betrothed to him is significant. This is more serious than today's engagement and the betrothal would last more than 9 months to be sure the bride was not pregnant. The groom would give the bride's family a gift and sign a marriage document. It involved more than just the couple promising each other to get marriage as in an engagement. It involved the whole family.
1:28-33 The angel Gabriel greets Mary and tells her that the Lord is with her and Mary's reaction is to feel troubled while her brain tries to quickly analyze and discern why this angel might be suddenly before her. The angel tells Mary not to be afraid and that she has found favor with God. I read these words and I long for God to find favor with me. I want to please God and have his approval. It is through Jesus that I receive this approval and am able to please God and not of anything I do. Mary, did you know that God had favor on you before the angel announced it? Why did God choose Mary? Man cannot know, but many consider her character traits in these verses to explain why, but surely there were many other women of equal character. Of course, not many were direct descendants that fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. King Solomon asked in 1 Kings 8:27, "But will God really live on earth?" Yes, indeed He will! The angel Gabriel delivers to Mary the big good news! She will have a son and call Him Jesus and He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High and His kingdom shall have no end!
1:34-36 I can imagine what was going through Mary's mind, "really?" She is thinking in the earthly literally whether or not her betrothed would be of assistance in becoming pregnant. The angel Gabriel informs her that the Holy Spirit will come over her and the child will be called the Son of God. Then he goes on to inform her that her relative Elizabeth was pregnant. Elizabeth had kept her pregnancy hidden for 5 months and, therefore, a month later, the news had not yet arrived to Mary's ears. Mary, did you know? Yes, of course you did because Gabriel just told you! This news along with the scripture prophecies coming together, along with faith that the prophecies would come true, you must have known! You must have known that your baby boy would save the sons and daughters, make things new, and also deliver you from your sins.
1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God.” Amen and Amen again!
1:38 Being the mother of Jesus would lead to much suffering. Mary knew it and yet she said "let it be according to your word." Let it happen as you have just told me Gabriel. I want to listen to God like Mary and follow His Will with such faith! Yes, Lord, let it happen as You have said! She would be ridiculed and possibly considered crazy. Her fiancé and father could reject her and she could be turned to a life of begging or prostitution to live. Her son would be rejected and murdered. However, her suffering brought much hope to the world and to people not even born yet. We have to trust God's plan, even if it means that we have to suffer. Our actions affect other people and we should be careful not to be selfish. Mary selflessly and willingly obeyed God, blindly trusting Him to take care of her. In contrast, Sarah, Abraham's wife, laughed (Genesis 18:9-15) and Zechariah doubted (Luke 1:18).