Reading the Word
Luke 1:26–38 (ESV)
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Understanding and Applying the Word
These verses record what is often referred to as “The Annunciation.” This is the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the young virgin Mary that she was going to have a baby. Her baby would not be just any baby, but the “Son of the Most High.” Mary was told that her son would sit on the throne of his father David and would reign forever. With these words, Mary was being told that she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah whom was prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures and whom her people had been waiting for for hundreds of years.
Imagine how you might feel if you were face-to-face with an angel and told that you would be entrusted with a great responsibility such as giving birth to and raising the Son of God, the Messiah. Also, imagine that you are merely a young teenager and not even married yet. This was Mary. A young girl who was engaged, but not yet married in a world where pregnancy outside of wedlock was unacceptable. How would she deal with the social pressure? How would Joseph respond to this news? Who would believe her when she maintained that she was a virgin and that the child was of the Holy Spirit?
Mary’s response to the angel is something for us to think about. She said, “Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” She did not ask to be excluded even though this was going to be extremely difficult for her. She trusted God and submitted to his plans for her. Can we do the same? Are we willing to be used in whatever way God chooses for us?
**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.