Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

3. Jesus’ birth foretold to Mary- Luke 1:26-38

-The angel Gabriel appears to the virgin, Mary, (probably a girl only in her early teens) in Nazareth of Galilee. She was espoused (engaged, promised to be married to) Joseph of the descendents of King David (Luke 1:27). This is extremely significant in light of God’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:1-13 of a Kingdom that would be established forever. The angel greets her as the “favored one (Luke 1:28, 30)” who the Lord was with. She was blessed with high honor and prestige, which perplexed her and made her ponder what was being said to her (Luke 1:29). She, like Zacharias earlier, was afraid as indicated by the angel’s response to her, but she was told not to fear because of the Lord’s favor on her (Luke 1:30). She is told that she will have a supernatural (immaculate- faultless, perfect, completely clean) conception of the Son of the Most High by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:32, 35). His Name is given, which is also extremely important. His Name shall be Jesus (Iesous in the Greek, Yahushua or Yeshua in the Hebrew, the same name we use for Joshua in the Old Testament meaning “God saves,” Luke 1:31).

-Mary’s astonishment is valid because she is a virgin making a natural birth by natural means impossible. But this was in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy over 700 years before (Isaiah 7:14). Emmanuel (God with us) was conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit because “nothing is impossible with God (Genesis 18:14, Luke 1:37).”

-The angel also told her about her relative Elizabeth’s conception in her old age, which had happened six months earlier (Luke 1:36).

-Mary at the end of the conversation calls herself the bondservant (female slave) of the Lord and affirmed that this thing may happen to her according to the will of God and the words of His messenger (Luke 1:38).

-*Application* We sometimes hear things spoken over us that seem impossible or unrealistic. But, if God is in it He will make it happen and we also can go in His Divine favor or blessing to live it out. What is the Lord speaking to you about today? What are His messages and promises for you? Seek Him out in His Word and find your specific calling and purpose. It will astonish you just as much as it astounded Mary! With God nothing is impossible!

-Verse to Memorize: Luke 1:37

4. Mary visits Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s praise of joy- Luke 1:39-45

-Mary arose after her encounter with Gabriel and went in a hurry the house of Zacharias and Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah (this was probably a long and difficult journey in those days). When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby (John) leaped within her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41). She cried out how blessed Mary was among women and blessed the fruit (produce) of her womb (Luke 1:42-45). She also extolled Mary’s faith to believe all that was promised to her by the Lord (Luke 1:45).

-*Application* Here again we see the faith principle in Scripture at work in real-tangible ways. The reason for Mary’s journey to Judah to see her relatives is uncertain, but God used this encounter for Divine revelation and affirmation of the things He was doing as the Spirit was poured out upon these individuals. As we believe and obey the Lord’s voice He will guide and direct us into more and more spiritual encounters that will amaze and illuminate us to His greater works and purposes.

-Verse to Memorize: Luke 1:45

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