“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary”
After four hundred years of silence God spoke again within the space of a few months. Here too the message was delivered not by a prophet but by the angel Gabriel – underlining its huge importance and implication. And it also concerned the birth of a child – whose significance and ministry were highlighted in three ways.
Firstly ‘you are to give Him the name Jesus’ – which indicated that His mission would be to save.
Secondly, ‘He will be great’ – for He would also be called ‘the Son of the Most High.’ – This was an acknowledged messianic title and Mary would have understood it that way.
Thirdly, ‘He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.’ – Here was a fulfillment of prophecy.
Gabriel painted for Mary a picture of a child who would be Saviour, Son of God and King – three stunning titles. Mary was both ‘greatly troubled’ and obviously mystified by the message that Gabriel delivered – and would have been overawed when He explained further,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God … For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:35-37)
We can only imagine what it must have been like for her to come through such an experience, to face up to telling Joseph – her husband to be – and see his initial hurting reaction , and to inform her family as well. And then, when she had the time to let it sink in and to reflect on it all, to come to terms with the growing realisation and understanding that for all eternity she would be the Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And we too, who are able to call ourselves by the name of the Christ, have within us the same Holy Spirit. He works to make Jesus real to us and through us to bring Him into the world around us.
Can I give the same answer that Mary gave?
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38)
Lord You have chosen to come and live within me. Please help me to believe and know that reality – and to allow You to shine through me into the world in which I live. Amen.