We were reading in Luke Chapter 1, of how the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah in the Temple while he was going about his duties leading the people in prayer and worship, and because Zechariah did not fully believe what the angel had said, he was given a sign. He was struck dumb and would remain silent until what God had said would happen actually happened. Dr Luke then tells us that his wife, Elizabeth, conceived.
Now, we have been through Luke Chapter 2 and part of Luke Chapter 1, but we did not have the opportunity to complete Chapter 1.
Verse 26. Six months later, this same angel, Gabriel, appears to Mary and shares the news from GOD THE FATHER that this young virgin has been chosen to be the mother of the Son of God, and Mary begins to wrestle with what this means. Wouldn’t anyone? What all would it involve? See and understand how Luke reveals basic human reactions and responses to the drawing near of Almighty God.
The angel is so very specific, and so detailed – a Son. Mary was pledged to be married or betrothed, which at that time was more than engaged but less than married.
Verse 36. The angel explains to Mary that Elizabeth, ‘your cousin’, is going to have a child in her old age, and she has now been carrying the unborn babe for six months.
Elizabeth is quite old, whereas Mary is very young. Both births are supernatural. Both are miracles. Humanly speaking, all this should not have happened. But God was at work, and He loves to deal with situations which appear impossible.
The prediction of a SON - and there is a reaction from those to whom the prediction was given - but we read of how our gracious God desires to answers their questions suitably and satisfactorily.
Both babies are named by God. John means ‘The Grace of God’ and Jesus means ‘Saviour’, who will save and rescue people from their sin and sins. Grace first - then we are saved.
Both are going to be great, and both have the announcement made by an angel, and Gabriel is still around.
Verse 30. Here is this reaction of FEAR once again. We can afraid of the supernatural - afraid of the unknown - the unusual - afraid of what God might demand of us and ask us to do.
We have an outline of the careers of the two sons - John in verse 17 - and Jesus in verses 32,33. Where John was to reform - Jesus was to reign. Jesus is Lord - Jesus is King – and His Kingdom will last for ever.
Both asked HOW? So human - so typical. We too can come to God with our questions, knowing that He will not reject or shun or despise.
HOW? The Power of The Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit is mentioned so frequently in the incidents surrounding the birth of John and the coming of Jesus into the world.
In both cases there is an acceptance - a willingness - to be used by God. Both families were concerned about pleasing and serving God.
Verse 38. Mary answers, “I am your willing servant”. Whatever you want me to do for you Lord, I am willing.
Now remember, Joseph too had examined the facts, and God had revealed truths to Joseph. Matthew deals with that, and we must not omit this vital fact when we are studying Luke.
This is important. Get at the facts - reach the facts - the truth - the actual state of affairs as opposed to rumour, myth and legend.
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