A Special Announcement and a Song of Praise (Luke 1:26-56)

By Donald Whitchard

Daniel 8:16,9:21; Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:26-38

 

Summary: Mary, an unknown peasant teenager, was given the special anointing from God to bear the Child who would be the Promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King.

 

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one! The LORD is with you; blessed are you among women!’ But she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the LORD God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’ Mary said, Behold the maidservant of the LORD! Let it be done according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”

Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste to a city of Judah and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out in a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my LORD should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the LORD.”

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the LORD, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant. For behold, henceforth, all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name. His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His people Israel in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever.’ And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her house.”(Luke 1:26-56, NKJV)

Mary, an anonymous teenaged peasant girl of no more than fourteen or fifteen years old, who resided in an obscure town in Galilee called Nazareth, was the vessel chosen by God to bear the Child who would be the Promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King as prophesied in the Scriptures (Genesis 3:15; Numbers 24:17; Isaiah 7:14, 9:1-6, 11:1-9; 52:13-53:1-12; Micah 5:2).  God allowed the archangel Gabriel to present this message to Mary, just as he had been allowed to bring a message to the prophet and statesman Daniel concerning the future of Israel.  He was also the one who brought the news of the birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias while he was burning incense in the temple before God (Daniel 8:16, 9:21; Luke 1:5-25).  One of the important issues about the birth of the Messiah was that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23, 34).  This is an essential doctrine of the Christian faith.  To deny the virgin conception and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is to render His mission useless.  If Jesus had not been conceived in the manner ordained by God, then he would have been born with an Adamic, sinful nature (Romans 5:12), and be just another man in need of redemption Himself.  His death on the cross would have been for nothing, and He would have died in His own sins.

He would not have been able to live the life He did, and all that He taught about Himself and His mission would have been based upon lies.  There would have been no Christian faith, and we would all end up in hell for eternity because there would have been no one able or qualified to atone for our transgressions and sins.  The redemptive plan of God would have been worthless, and all the prophecies that were recorded in the Scriptures would have been unfulfilled, pointless, and forgotten to history.  What of Mary herself?  What do the Scriptures tell us about her?  In reading these passages, we clearly see that the LORD was with her.  Her submission to the will of God has made her blessed among women and someone to admire in terms of devotion to God and His Word, but to see her as anything but a woman favored by God is idolatry.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that her virginity was restored to her after the birth of Jesus, nor in any way perpetual.  She is neither a “co-redemptress” on equal grounds with the LORD.  Heretical teachings from later church and papal sources placed her on a pedestal that is nowhere found in the Scriptures or the works of the Early Church Fathers (AD 100-400).

Mariology, or devotion to Mary, began around the fifth-sixth centuries AD when the Roman Catholic “church” began to promote non-biblical teachings that came from the decrees of popes and error-prone medieval writers.  Mary is mentioned in Matthew 1;18, 2:13-16; Mark 6:3; Luke 1:26-56, 2:8-20, 41-52, and John 19:25-27.  After Acts 1:14, her name is nowhere mentioned nor referred to in the New Testament.  It is the Lord Jesus Christ alone who is the center and purpose for which the Scriptures were written, and the One who would carry out the redemptive plan which God had ordained to be enacted through Him.  Mary, in obedience to God, gave the child the name of “Jesus,” or “Yeshua” (Joshua), which is the Hebrew term meaning “God (YHWH) saves.”  The Child’s characteristics would be His Sonship with God, the rightful heir to the throne of David, the rightful ruler of God’s people, the promise of a never-ending kingdom, the eternal presence of the Holy Spirit both upon and within Him and be the Savior of His people.  He is the fulfilled promise of what God had declared in Eden (Genesis 3:15).  He would be the One to crush Satan’s head once and for all.

Mary never questioned nor doubted God’s purposes and will.  Her pregnancy would be visible before her wedding to Joseph, and her reputation would be in question for the remainder of her life, if not permanently damaged for alleged promiscuity.  Joseph, in his obedience to God to wed her, no doubt underwent scrutiny from peers and family not just for his beloved wife and what she had allegedly done but not doubt, would also endure wagging of tongues behind his back on whether he was the father of the child.  God shows us that the men and women of the Bible were flesh and blood, and that He is sympathetic to those who are having to undergo questionable reputations and scrutiny for things that happened some time ago.  He identifies with those whom society and life in general have set aside and forgotten.  Such is His grace and mercy.  Think on these things as God puts His plans into place for His glory and our benefit. Mary’s song of praise to the LORD reflects this so well.

 

donaldwhitchard@gmail.com

www.realitycityreverend.com

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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