Week 5 | Section 5,6
Gabriel is listed in Jewish literature as one of seven archangels, holding the highest rank after Michael. Five hundred years earlier, Gabriel gave Daniel an exact account of the time of the Messiah’s coming. Now he appeared to Mary, announcing the good news – that she would give birth to the savior of the world. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and stands in awe when she recognizes Mary is carrying the Lord Jesus, The King of Kings. It’s amazing how God is able to carry forth his plans – with Mary, with Elizabeth, and with us.
Luke 1:26-38 | Section 5
26 Now in the sixth month,1 the angel2Gabriel3 was sent from God4 to a city of Galilee,5 named Nazareth,6 27 to a virgin7 pledged to be married8 to a man whose name was Joseph, of David’s house.9 The virgin’s name was Mary.28 Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice,10 you highly favored one!11 The Lord is with you. Blessed12 are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’13 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.14 The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David,15 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob16 forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit17 will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.37 For nothing spoken by God is impossible.” 38 Mary said, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”The angel departed from her.
Luke 1:39-45 | Section 6
39 Mary arose in those days18 and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah,19 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby20 leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.21 42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!22 43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 45 Blessed is she who believed,23 for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”
- What can we learn about the Holy Spirit and the trinity from this passage and the rest of scripture?
- How can (or should) we trust God’s word in prayer, Scripture or from the prophetic voice of gifted people?
- What can we learn about the nature and character of Mary the Mother of Jesus from this passage and others?
- Read and discuss: What’s in a surname?
Humility, being God’s vessel, God’s plan, importance of the virgin birth, nothing impossible for God. The existence of the Holy Spirit.
- That is in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.
- See Eph 6:10-18 to learn more about the role of angels
- This is the same angel, who about 500 years earlier spoke to Daniel telling him the time of the Messiah’s coming (Daniel 9), and also Zechariah (6 months earlier) to tell him of John the Baptist (see week 4, section 4).
- God commands the Angels
- Many Jews considered Galilee an unpopular region and murmured it “had no prophet”. Galilee was a region known for fishing and farming and for having a large population of Gentiles (immigrants, foreigners, resident aliens). This series of relief maps will be helpful for your studies. It might be interesting to note that Jonah, the son of Amittai (the one in the belly of the whale) was a prophet from Gathhepher, from the tribe of Zebulun (see map of OT times), who resided in Galilee (2 Kings 14:23-25; Joshua 19:10,13; 19:16; Jonah 1:1). He was sent to speak to the people at a time when Israel was at the lowest point of her depression. – Ironically, Israel was in a similar condition (cf. Isaiah 6:1-45). When Jesus, the root of Jesse, was born the Roman Empire was growing and tensions were high between the Jews, Gentiles, and Romans.
- “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” – John 1:46. Nazareth itself was a small community. Yet it was prophesied that “a great light, should arise in Galilee” (Isaiah 9:1-2). Records indicate that it had a population between 500 and 2000, it was an obscure village tucked away in the hills of Galilee. It was overshadowed by the town Sepphoris, that was being re-built as a regional capital around the time of Jesus. Nazareth laid just a little off the way of a significant trade route East-West trade route that ran from Egypt to Asia called the Via Maris. Jesus attended synagogue and recited Torah and learned the words of Scripture. It was in Nazareth that Scripture says Jesus “increased in wisdom and in stature and in divine and human favor.” and today the Savior of the world became known as, Jesus of Nazareth.
- Mary (Miriam) is not ‘barren’ (as was Elizabeth) but in a literary turn of the story Luke is illustrating that Israel herself is spiritually barren and is in need of a Savior.
- At the time betrothal was a legal precursor to marriage. Roman law and Jewish practices at the time allowed betrothals after age 10 and the marriage typically happened before the girl reached age 13. The Jewish tradition of betrothal was a solemn vow and legal contract not to be overlooked or cancelled easily. Scott Nassau does a good job explaining the two tractates, Sotah and Gittin, that are important to understand when considering how Joseph who was just and compassionate, weighed his legal options and Godly character. Its much the same with us, we have rights and it might be appropriate to exercise those right, but forgiveness, mercy, and compassion is always the right thing express (Micah 6:8).
- Joseph a descendant of David – in actuality they both were of the house and lineage of David (see week 3, section 3).
- Greetings – Strong’s G5463 – chairō / khī’-rō
- Note that there is no other honorific title given Mary (cf Elizabeth Luke 1:5-6). She is simply favored, humble.
- Blessed Strong’s G2127 – eulogeō / yü-lo-ge’-ō) – in this case to invoke blessing
- This is the fulfillment of the prophesy in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”
- by nature, not adoption or office (cf baptism, behold my son).
- 2 Samuel 7:11-16 an everlasting dynasty. As Christ was a decedent of King David, in the legal sense, he had a right to the throne of David and become King of kings.
- Not just Jews, the posterity of Jacob was all 12 tribes and consisting of Jews and Gentiles, just as David reigned over the Idumeans, and Syrians. Jesus’ kingdom shall extend around the globe and he will reign over all. By his eternal nature his reign would be for ever, “his kingdom there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 2:44, 7:14).
- the virgin birth
- still in Elizabeth’s sixth month
- The town isn’t named, but in tradition it is Ain Karim, this is perhaps a 75 mile journey, about 3 days travel from Nazareth. Some scholars suggest that the parents of John the Baptist lived in Hebron as it was a ‘priest city’ and a significant place of most importance in the hill country of Judea.
- This is John the Baptist who would be the forerunner, and the last of the old Testament prophets preaching repentance, the need for purification, and building within the hearts of the people an expectancy for the Messiah. Some 400 years earlier the prophet Malachi spoke of this Malachi 4:4-6. Like Elijah himself, John would speak to a generation of rebellious children in an effort to prepare their hearts to receive the grace of God in Christ.
- Interesting to see that the Holy Spirit has filled Elizabeth prior to Pentecost. This is testament to the Trinity, the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit throughout all time.
- With great boldness of faith Elizabeth says just what she discerned. This appears to be the gift of faith.
- Even at her young age Mary is not naive but believing. She seems to know how to abide with God (John 15) and not be anxious but full of the spirit(Gal 5).