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Advent 4

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(NIV)
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Many people have this belief that since we live in a nation of freedom, a newborn child can grow up to be anything that they want to be. I don’t know that I completely agree with that belief. I realize that children from very diverse backgrounds are not limited by class distinctions, race, or financial status as to what their possibilities are, but certain professions and jobs cannot be done by everyone. Example: A child born to a father who is six foot five and a mother who is five foot ten probably isn’t going to have much of a chance being a jockey in the Kentucky Derby.
Nevertheless, the parents and grandparents of newborn have much hope and aspirations for the newborn child. We may even pray for and work toward making dreams come true by providing the resources and opportunities which will pave the pathway to success. You may have watch professional sports long enough to recognize the last name’s of current NFL players because their own father’s played in the NFL. As Packer fans we are most familiar with Clay Matthews. Last week’s game against the Caroline Panther’s reminded us of how Christian McCaffrey’s father was a wide receiver in the NFL about 25 years ago. They booth have genetics and the opportunities to succeed at a high level. Even two our US Presidents had fathers who had also been US Presidents.
So have hope and pray for young children that they will be able to succeed at life.
Certainly, Mary, the mother of Jesus, had hope for the child that she would give birth to as we celebrate on Christmas Day. On what was her hope based?
Well, it wasn’t based on normal circumstances by any means. Her hope was based on the promises of God spoken to her from the angel Gabriel. The announcement of Jesus’ birth ought to be familiar to us.
Luke 1:26–27 NIV
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
Luke is detailed concerning this event. It takes place six month’s into the pregnancy Elizabeth whose story is told earlier. From this we conclude that John the Baptist is six month’s older than Jesus. Gabriel (one of three named angels) is sent by God to Nazareth, Galilee to the home of a virgin named Mary. He is engaged to a man named Joseph. “A descendant of David” most likely goes with Joseph although grammatically it could be either one. See parallel passage.
Luke is detailed concerning this event. It takes place six month’s into the pregnancy Elizabeth whose story is told earlier. From this we conclude that John the Baptist is six month’s older than Jesus. Gabriel (one of three named angels) is sent by God to Nazareth, Galilee to the home of a virgin named Mary. He is engaged to a man named Joseph. “A descendant of David” most likely goes with Joseph although grammatically it could be either one. See parallel passage.
Luke 1:28 NIV
28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
It is unfortunate that Jerome translated the Greek word here as he did.
28. highly favoured—a word only once used elsewhere (, “made accepted”): compare , “Thou hast found favour with God.” The mistake of the Vulgate’s rendering, “full of grace,” has been taken abundant advantage of by the Romish Church. As the mother of our Lord, she was the most “blessed among women” in external distinction; but let them listen to the Lord’s own words. “Nay, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” (See on ).

28. Thou that art highly favored (κεχαριτωμένη). Lit., as Rev. in margin, endued with grace. Only here and Eph. 1:6. The rendering full of grace, Vulgate, Wyc., and Tynd., is therefore wrong.

All the best texts omit blessed art thou among women.

Evangelical Commentary on the Bible A. Two Births Predicted (1:5–56)

Mary’s favored status (v. 28) does not imply any intrinsic worthiness; it merely means that she has been a recipient of God’s gracious activity. Nevertheless, Mary’s obedience and faith (v. 38; cf. v. 45) are clearly a model for Luke’s community.

Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 97). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 97). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
St. Paul sheds light on why God chose Mary. It was because she fulfilled the requirements of God plan. (NIV) 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
Luke 1:29 NIV
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Mary was naturally in awe of what was happening. Gabriel continues with making some astounding predictions of who Jesus is and what he would do.
Luke 1:30–33 NIV
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
A possibly life long decision that parents make at the birth of a child is what they are going to name that little bundle of joy. Mary would have no such decision to be made. God chose the name for his child. It was a common name but it was still full of meaning. “Jesus” which means “The Lord saves.” It indicates what he would do.
Gabriel also predicts that he would be great. Even today, Jesus is the most well known and respected person who has ever lived.
Meaning of “Son of the Most High”.
Bible History Commentary: New Testament Gabriel’s Message to Mary

The “Most High” designates God in his supreme majesty. (Hebrews 7:1; Genesis 14:18) Therefore the son of Mary would also be the very Son of God. He would be called “the Son of the Most High,” not mistakenly, but rightly, because that is exactly who he is.

1:31 Jesus From the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “Yahweh is help (or, salvation)” (see Matt 1:21).

1:32 Son of the Most High Highlights Jesus’ divinity and royalty (compare Luke 1:35, 76).

give him the throne of his father David Gabriel implies that Jesus will fulfill the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:12–13).

Jesus would also be a ruler. This prophecy became one of the most contested aspects of Jesus’ life. Couched in the terminology of being an earthly ruler (throne of his father David, reign over Jacob’s descendant forever), we believe that as Jesus would later tell Pontius Pilate — his kingdom is not of this world.
Jesus would also be a ruler. This prophecy became one of the most contested aspects of Jesus’ life. Couched in the terminology of being an earthly ruler (throne of his father David, reign over Jacob’s descendant forever), we believe that as Jesus would later tell Pontius Pilate — his kingdom is not of this world.
Mary’s reactions is well known.
Luke 1:34 NIV
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Although modern scholars who try to explain away miracles would argue on the meaning of the Greek word here, the context makes it obvious that Mary knew where baby’s came from and that it was impossible for her to be expecting a child. So she asked the obvious question. The answer is the mystery and miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus.
Luke 1:35–37 NIV
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
This the Christian church confesses every week in the Apostles’ Creed “Born of the virgin Mary.”
As evidence of the power of God to do miracles, Gabriel tells Mary of the upcoming birth of John the Baptism to his aging mother, Elizabeth. He also states a truism. “For no word from God will ever fail.”
Passage on the promises of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20–22 NIV
20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Mary accepts in faith the plan that God has for her to be the mother of the Savior.
Mary accepts in faith the plan that God has for her to be the mother of the Savior.
Luke 1:38 NIV
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
See Life Application Commentary for application.
1:38 Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.NRSV God's announcement of a child to be born was met with various responses throughout Scripture. Sarah, Abraham's wife, laughed (). Zechariah doubted (1:18). By contrast, Mary submitted, knowing that she was merely the servant of the Lord. She believed the angel's words and agreed to bear the child, even under humanly impossible circumstances, even with difficult social consequences. A young unmarried girl who became pregnant risked disaster. Unless the father of the child agreed to marry her, she would probably remain unmarried for life. If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging or prostitution in order to earn her living. She risked losing Joseph, her family, and her reputation. And her story about being made pregnant by the Holy Spirit risked her being considered crazy as well. Still Mary said, despite the risks, ''Let it be with me according to your word.'' When Mary said that, she didn't know about the tremendous opportunity she would have. She took the risk of faith; she didn't consult with anyone else; she didn't take time to weigh the pros and cons. She only knew that God was asking her to serve him, and she willingly obeyed. Believers need Mary's kind of trust and responsiveness. Too many wait to see the bottom line before offering themselves to God. God wants willing servants. Life Application Bible Commentary - Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke.
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