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The birth of the Messiah was the subject of a number of prominent OT prophecies. Now the moment in history has arrived – “the fullness of times’ – for God to send forth His Son to be born of the Virgin Mary. This announcement by the super angel Gabriel follows close on the heels of his parallel announcement of the birth of the forerunner — John the Baptist. But what a difference in person and in roles.

Here we see the privileged function of Mary – highly favored by God; but we also feel the tension and pressure she will face as she carries the God-child under such unusual and unique circumstances. Here we are also introduced to some key fundamental truths about the person and work of Jesus Christ.

G. Campbell Morgan: This is the Biblical interpretation of the Person of Jesus. A naturalistic philosophy necessarily cannot accept this as true.



A. (:26-27) Gabriel’s Mission to the Virgin Mary

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”

What are the prophetic significance of the details in these 2 verses?

– Location of Nazareth in Galilee – about 70 miles north-east of Jerusalem

– Condition of Mary being a virgin

– Ancestral connections of Joseph to David

Significance of her status as engaged

B. (:28-29) Gabriel’s Greeting of Grace and Favor Leads to Initial Concern

1. (:28) Announcement of Grace and Favor and Privilege

“And coming in, he said to her, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’”

A recipient of divine grace, not one who could dispense grace; not a call to pray to Mary

2. (:29) Apprehension and Initial Concern

“But she was greatly troubled at this statement,

and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be.”

What was so troubling to Mary?

Not a lack of faith – not questioning whether God would actually accomplish this … but asking How?

C. (:30) Gabriel’s Reassurance

“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.’”

D. (:31-33) Gabriel’s Christology – 7 Truths About Jesus Revealed:

1. Conceived by the Holy Spirit

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb,”

Concept is fleshed out below in vs. 35

2. Human Son

“and bear a son,”

3. Named Jesus

“and you shall name Him Jesus.”

Jehovah saves

Matt. 1:21 “He will save His people from their sins”

4. Destined for Greatness

“He will be great,”

Steven Cole: Jesus later said that John the Baptist was the greatest person ever born naturally on this earth (Matt. 11:11). That means that John was greater than Mary. But John himself acknowledged of Jesus, He is “mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals” (Luke 3:16). John also testified, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me” (John 1:30). Remember, John was born six months before Jesus, yet he acknowledged that Jesus existed before him. No wonder John exclaimed, “This is the Son of God” (John 1:34). “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Any elevation of Mary that puts her on the same plane as Jesus is utter blasphemy! Jesus alone is the uniquely great Savior and Son of God.

5. Called Unique Son of God

“and will be called the Son of the Most High;”

Equality of nature

Bruce Hurt: Most High (hupsistos superlative of hupsos = height from hupsi = high, aloft) in a spatial sense means the highest (highest places). Figuratively of the highest possible status. In view of God’s superior rank and power it is an appropriate descriptive Name of God. He is the Most High which also emphasizes His as dwelling in the highest heavens far exalted above all other things.

What do we learn about Jesus here? How distinct from John the Baptist?

Son of the Most High vs. Prophet of the Most High vs.76

6. Given the Throne of David — Royalty

“and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;”

Supreme power

7. Unending Reign

“and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever;

and His kingdom will have no end.”

MacArthur: This emphasizes both the Jewish character of the millennial kingdom and the eternal permanence of Christ’s rule over all.

(2 Sam. 7; Dan. 2; 7:14)


A. (:34-37) Logistical Question Regarding the Process of Conception and Birth

“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35 And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.’”

Thabiti Anyabwile: Did you ever feel like your life is too small for God to notice, too insignificant for God to be aware of you? Perhaps that’s how Mary felt.

Bruce Hurt: Overshadow (episkiazo from epi = upon + skia = shadow) “literally, as darkening by partially blocking out a source of light” (Friberg) and so to throw a shadow upon as in Acts 5:15. To cover as with a cloud as in the cloud of Shekinah glory (Exodus 40:34). Even as the Shekinah glory cloud was a visible manifestation of the glory and holy, powerful presence of God, this same divine power which was with Moses and others in the Old Testament was now going to do a unique work in the life of Mary!

Only a God who can accomplish the impossible could keep this promise of a virgin birth.

Beauty of the incarnation – God becoming flesh – He needed to be God to supply the righteousness required; he needed to be man to accomplish the atoning sacrifice – the substitutionary death in our place to take the punishment for our sins; only one mediator between man and God = the God-man Christ Jesus

What would give Mary assurance that this promise of a virgin birth would come about as Gabriel had announced to her? Birth of John to Elizabeth

Comforting: No Word of God will ever fail.

John Piper: It is an unfathomable mystery that all the fullness of deity should dwell bodily in Jesus (Colossians 2:9). It is fitting (indeed necessary, I think) that the entrance gate to this mystery of incarnation should be the virgin birth. And it should cause us to smile with pleasure that the shy member of the Trinity should be assigned the delicate and wonderful and mysterious work of causing the virgin to conceive—to conceive the One whose greatness he will magnify forever. It’s all so beautifully appropriate.

B. (:38) Submissive Commitment of Faith

“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”

We each have been gifted to perform a specific role in God’s kingdom agenda.

Do we have the same attitude of submissive commitment?

She knew she would be accused of adultery – not many good explanations for her pregnancy

What can we learn from Mary’s attitude of submission?