The following is a very popular blog series that was originally posted in 2011. In this series we took a verse by verse look at the Christmas Story. For those new to SIH blog may you enjoy this visit to the Biblical account of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For those who are long time followers of SIH blog, may these truths be renewed in your hearts and minds. ———————————————————-
We will now continue our look at the birth of Christ by turning to the account in Luke. We’ll be breaking up our study into four parts:
Part #1 – Luke 1:26-38
Part #2 – Luke 1:39-56
Part #3 – Luke 2:1-20
Part #4 – Luke 2:21-40
Today, we will start with part number one.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
The angel Gabriel is used by the Lord to deliver the message to Mary. Perhaps, Gabriel is the “Angel of the Lord” talked about in the Matthew account of Christ’s birth (Matt 1:20,24, 2:13,19) Gabriel was also used by the Lord to deliver the Lord’s message to Daniel (Dan 8:16. 9:21)
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
The espousal was a legally binding promise to marry. At this point in time, Mary and Joseph had promised to marry but they had not taken the vows nor had they consummated their relationship.
The word “virgin” here is from a Greek word that can mean three different ideas…“a maiden” or “an unmarried daughter” or “a woman who did not have relations with a man”. How do we know which meaning is meant here? Context dictates the true meaning.
Contextually there are at least, three different proofs that Mary had never had relations with a man:
- Luke 1:34 – Mary’s response makes it clear that Mary had never had relations with a man.
- Matt 1:21-25 We are clearly told that her pregnancy was the result of the Lord’s divine intervention, this is why Joseph did not break the espousal agreement.
- Isa 7:14 – This prophecy was fulfilled by Mary’s pregnancy, it was a miraculous sign from God.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Here Gabriel tells Mary three different ideas:
- she was highly favoured – Lord had chosen to use her in a special way uncommon among other women
- Lord was with her – Lord’s presence was with her in a special way
- She was blessed among all women – Lord had chosen to show her a measure of grace above that of other women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
This greeting disturbed her, at this point she did not understand what would take place in her life.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
The angel calms Mary’s fears and then explained how the Lord would show her a special blessing above that of other women. She would conceive and then give birth to a son. This son would be named “Jesus” which means “Jehovah is our freedom”, “Jehovah is our salvation” He would be both God and Savior of His people.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Truths about this God, and Savior…
- shall be great – Christ would be “High One” or One who is over all creation
- shall be called Son of Highest – He would be recognized as Son of Jehovah God
- Father will give Him David’s throne – God would give Him authority to rule over Israel of God (Gals 6:16)
- shall reign over house of Jacob eternally – His rule over Israel would be an eternal rule
- shall be no end to his kingdom – His rule is not limited to that of the Israel of God but over all mankind (Phil 2:10-11)
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Gen 4:1 “knew” – intimate relations. She knew she had never had relations this is why she was so confused. How could she ever become pregnant? This is a proof that she had never had relations with a man.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The answer the angel gives to her is in direct response to her concern about how a virgin can become pregnant… Through the power of God the Father, and through the intervention of the Holy Ghost, Mary would conceive a child who would be the very Son of God.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
To prove that this was a message from God and to prove that this miraculous act could be accomplished, the angel points to another miracle, the conception of John the Baptist in the womb of barren Elisabeth.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary shows her faith in the Lord and his word by submitting to His will and believing these miracles would be done.
In our next blog entry we will continue this series by looking at Luke 1:39-56
May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”