In verse twenty six Luke is careful to point out that it was in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy that “the angel Gabriel was sent from God” to Nazareth. Luke wants his readers to know that the events he is about to share were prompted by God Himself.
Gabriel is sent to speak to a virgin, engaged to a man by the name of Joseph. Luke again shares some Jewish genealogy when he writes, “Joseph of the house of David”. This is significant because of, what was told to King David by Nathan the prophet.
Read 2nd Samuel 7:5-17. This is a Messianic prophecy concerning Jesus. So, when Luke makes mention of Joseph's ancestry it is for good reason. He is letting the reader know that the birth of Jesus is going to be prophecy fulfilled.
Verses 28-33 recounts the proclamation of Gabriel to Mary, where Gabriel tells her she will have a son and what he will be named. Luke quotes Gabriel as he tells Mary, that prophecy will be fulfilled in the statement he makes in verses 32-33. Gabriel says that Jesus will receive “the throne of his father David”ESV and that His kingdom will be eternal. So, Joseph's ancestry is very significant isn't it? Even though Joseph will not be the biological father of Jesus, Jesus will be born into the line of David. (we'll look at this more in later comments)
Mary's reaction is one of questioning, not a lack of faith, like we saw with Zechariah. She simply asks “how will this be, since I am a virgin?”ESV The angel answers her question in verses 35-37. "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." ESV Did you notice Gabriel throws in the fact that Elizabeth as an old woman is going to have a baby? I think he says this to show that God can do anything He wants, He is not limited by biology. What a powerful God we have!
Mary responds to Gabriel in absolute faith. "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." ESV She welcomes the blessing God has chosen to bestow upon her. Think of her faith. A young virgin, already engaged is told she will become pregnant and give birth to the Son of God. God can do incredible things through the lives of faithful people.
The passage that we looked at today shows us that God keeps his promises and that the birth of Jesus was always planned for. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14 ESV Luke recounts the moment in time when God was fulfilling His promise.
Tomorrow we will go over verses 39-45 of Luke chapter one when Mary visits Elizabeth.
© 2012 Leo J. Woodman