10 Dec. Luke 1:26-38

10 Dec. Jesus’s birth announcement has amazing claims

"During Elizabeth's sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary."

"The angel came to her and said, 'Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.' But Mary was very startled by what the angel said and wondered what this greeting might mean."

"The angel said to her, 'Don't be afraid, Mary; God has shown you his grace. Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.'"

"'He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. He will rule over the people of Jacob [Israel] for ever, and his kingdom will never end.'"

"Mary said to the angel, 'How will this happen since I am a virgin?' The angel said to Mary, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. For this reason the baby will be holy and will be called the Son of God...'"

"Mary said, 'I am the servant of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!' Then the angel went away."

          (Luke 1:26-38)


 

'Familiarity breeds contempt' - or so it is said! Nowhere is this more true than with familiar Bible passages. We're so used to hearing these verses and concentrating on the announcement of a virgin birth to a teenage girl that we often fail to appreciate the amazing claims made about Jesus by the angel Gabriel.

The angel Gabriel appears to Mary at Nazareth in c.6BC. Mary is engaged to Joseph, but their marriage has not yet taken place. First of all, the angel announces that she will shortly become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit and will give birth to a son whom she is to call ‘Jesus’ (Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew ‘Yeshua’ or ‘Joshua’ meaning ‘God saves’). Matthew’s gospel explains, “you will name him Jesus ['God saves'], because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

This statement alone is amazing. Mary will give birth to a son called 'God saves' who "will save his people from their sins." Jews were well aware that only God can forgive sins (see Luke 5:21). Yet Mary was to call her son 'God saves' because Jesus himself would forgive people and save them from their sins. But only God can forgive sins - so what does this tell us about Jesus?

The angel then reveals that Mary’s son will become a king like his ancestor King David, and will rule forever: "The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor [and] he will rule over the people of Jacob [or 'Israel' - see Genesis 35:9-11] for ever." (see Luke 1:32-33, 2 Samuel 7:12-13)

This statement is equally amazing. One of the chief expectations of the coming 'Messiah' or 'Christ' was that he would be a powerful leader – a king like David.

According to the prophet Isaiah, the Messiah would be a powerful leader descended from Israel’s most successful warrior, King David: “He will rule as king on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom. He will make it strong by ruling with justice and goodness from now on and forever” (Isaiah 9:7). And this is exactly what the angel Gabriel says Jesus will become.

And finally, the angel says that Jesus "will be called the Son of the Most High" - a reference to God himself (Luke 1:32). Indeed the angel goes on to make it quite clear: he "will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

Totally amazing! Everyone knew that God didn't have a son! Yet the angel Gabriel makes it abundantly clear that Jesus will be called "the Son of God."

Next time you hear this passage read at a carol service, just try to pause for a moment and ponder on these three amazing truths that the angel Gabriel shares when he announces the birth of Jesus:

1. He will be the Saviour who saves people from their sins.

2. He will fulfil the Messianic prophesies as a king like David.

3. He will be called the Son of God.

The photo shows the Church of the Annunciation at Nazareth.

You can discover more about Nazareth @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/the-bible-journey/3-jesuss-childhood-journeys-b/jesuss-birth-announced/


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