Luke 1:26-31 – The Birth of Jesus, the Son of God is foretold – Part 1

Luke 1:26-31 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 

“In the sixth month” refers to the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist as indicated in verse 36 below. Gabriel means “Man of God” and is the name of the angel commissioned to explain to Daniel the vision of the ram and the he-goat, and to give the prediction of the 70 weeks (Dan. 8:16; 9:21). In the NT he is the angel of the annunciation to Zacharias of the birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary of the birth of Jesus (Lk 1:19,26). Though commonly spoken of as an archangel, he is not so called in Scripture. 
Therefore, in the sixt month, Gabriel, an angel was sent by God to Mary who was in Nazareth, in Galilee at the time. Mary at that time was still a virgin and engaged to Joseph. Now, this engagement was not like our engagements today. This was a type of an engagement that could only be broken through divorce as Jospeh wanted to do in Mat 1:19. So, looking at this from today’s point of view, they were legally married. 
This man Jospeh who was legally married to Mary, was from a line of King David. He comes from the direct line of Abraham through David the King. He was from the line of kings. Three important things must be noted in the above verses
1) Mary was still a virgin at the time of Gabriel’s visit
2) Mary was legally married
3) Joseph comes from a line of Kings.

28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 

Gabriel then greeted Mary and said “Greetings O favored one”. The word favored comes from a greek word “charizoo” which means to grace, to highly honor or favour. “O favored one” literally means “full of grace”. Therefore, this greeting means, “Greetings Mary who is full of grace, the Lord is with you”. I remember when I was still attending the Roman Catholic Church, we used to say these words a lot. This is how the “Hail Mary” prayer starts. There is obviously lots of issues with this prayer but that, is for another time. So, here we see Gabriel greeting Mary and saying that she is full of grace. Where does she gets this grace? Did she recieve it from somewhere or is she the source of grace? We will see the answer below.

29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 

Now, the above verse 29 clearly states that Mary was troubled or confused by this greeting. She tried to discern, meaning she tried to figure out what kind of a greeting it was. If she knew she was already full of grace and that the Lord was with her, she would not be confused now would she? So, clearly Mary herself was not aware that she was full of grace. This alone should show that Mary was not and is not a source of grace. 
On seeing that she was afraid, Gabriel said to her that she must not be, for she has found favor with God, meaning that God has bestowed grace upon her. This cements the fact that God is and was the source of grace that Mary had. It was God who made her full of grace. In other words, God highly honored Mary by approving her to be the Mother of Jesus, His son. There is nothing that Mary did or did not do to deserve being the mother of God, hence it was by the grace of God that she became the mother of God. She was not and she is still not special in any way but, she was highly favored.
Mary was highly favored by God’s grace to be able to conceive and bear a son which she was to name, Jesus. The name Jesus comes from a Hebrew word “Joshua” which means “Jehovah is Salvation” or “Saviour”. A befitting name for our Lord who indeed came to save us from God’s wrath, amen.
Therefore, Gabriel’s message to Mary was that God has highly honored here and by His grace, she will bear a son and she must call Him Jesus. 
So what do we know from the above verses:
1) Mary was still a virgin at the time of Gabriel’s visit
2) Mary was legally married
3) Joseph comes from a line of Kings.
4) Mary did not do anything to deserve being a mother of Jesus, it was simply God’s grace bestowed upon her.
5) Mary is not a source of grace but a recipient of God’s grace
6) Mary was to name our Lord, Jesus.
Posted in Gospel of Luke, Luke 1, The Birth of Jesus.

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