Christ’s Birth is Announced

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Belief

Gabriel is used again to declare glad tidings (v.26). When Elisabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy God sends His angel to a virgin by the name of Mary in the town of Nazareth. Mary had  not yet had sexual contact with any man. She was engaged to be married to a man by the name of Joseph (v. 27). She was a young, poor female, all characteristics that would make her seem unusable by God for any major task. But God choose Mary for one of the most important acts of obedience He has ever demanded of anyone. You could think that your ability, experience or education makes you an unlikely candidate for God’s service. We should never limit God’s choices. He can and will use us if we will trust Him.

In Jewish culture, at that time, a man and woman were pledged or engaged to each other for a period of time before the actual marriage (vv. 28-33). The engagement period was much more binding than an engagement period today, for the two were considered husband and wife except that they did not live together until after the wedding.

When Mary is told that she is going to give birth to Jesus she does not express any doubt, as did Zacharias. She merely wanted to know how such an event would be accomplished in view of the fact  that she has had no relationship with a man (vv. 34-38). When the angel explains that the miracle will be accomplished through the divine power of the Holy Spirit, Mary meekly and submissively agrees to the Lord’s will for her life. Of course she must have realized that this would cause her embarrassment and misunderstanding.

Application

Just think of what it would have been like for Mary to tell Joseph,"I’m pregnant by the Holy Spirit."  I’m sure I would have had lots of questions and I’m not sure what I would have said or done.

Luke 1:26-38 (English Standard Version)

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

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