Christ’s Birth is Announced

“In 1963...65 percent of Americans said they believed in the absolute truth of all words in the Bible. Within 15 years, by 1978, the proportion of the population holding this belief had declined to 38 percent. The current figure of 32 percent represents a new low in … More

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)


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