These verses contain the matchless story of the Annunciation. The story is matchless indeed, mysterious, magnificent, and majestic.
It is the story of the angel Gabriel coming to Nazareth. The story of a messenger sent from heaven, bringing to earth stupendous tidings.
This messenger sent from God, came to Nazareth a city of Galilee. Galilee was held in contempt by those in Judea. Nazareth was perhaps the most infamous city in the despised province. Describe this Nathaniel’s statement, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth.”
Leaving the Place mentioned, let us look at the Personalities involved. Verse 27 A virgin, whose name was Mary. A certain man whose name was Joseph.
Of Joseph we know little. Matt 1:19 and 13:55 inform us that he was “a righteous man” and that he was “a carpenter.”
Now let us look at Mary. The Protestant Church has altogether wronged Mary. Mariolatry is idolatry.
In our rebound from the false position which the R.C. church has taken we have over-reacted and consigned her to a place of almost oblivion. In verse 27-28 we have Mary’s character as seen by God.
· She was a virgin.
· She was highly favored.
· The Lord was with her.
· Blessed art thou among women. This means: Favored of God art thou before and above all other women.
Mary was the elect of God for the fulfillment of the tremendous honor of being the mother of the Messiah.
Verse 31 is the message from heaven.
“Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus.”
The glorious future of this Christ Child is revealed in verse 32-33 (More later).
Up to this point Gabriel has been doing all the talking.
Now Mary startled by the messenger and the message asks a perfectly natural question.
Verse 34—“How shall this be, seeing I know not a man.”
The angel’s answer is found in verse 35.
“The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee as a shining cloud; and so this holy, pure, sinless Thing which shall be born of you, will be called the Son of God.”
In this verse we have announced the miraculous conception of our Lord. We do not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary - but we do believe in the miraculous conception of the Lord.
Verse 38—This verse depicts Mary’s surrender and submission to the will of God.
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
All this was beautiful from the Divine standpoint, but was questionable from the human point of view.
She was betrothed to a righteous man named Joseph. There came to Joseph the shocking realization that his wife-to-be was pregnant. What were the alternatives he had to cope with the situation. He could make her a public example. Matt 2:19. Stoning to death. Or he could put her away privately. Matt 2:19. Cancel the engagement.
At this point the angel appeared to Joseph and allayed his fears. Joseph then married Mary right away. Then there must have been questioning – whisperings - suspicions. Explanation of the circumstances was impossible - Who would ever believe?
This background explains verse 39.
“Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste.”
She stayed in the hill country in seclusion for 3 months. After returning to Nazareth, Caesar Augustus issued an edict that every person living in the Roman Empire should return to his own city to be registered.
Joseph and Mary took their uncomfortable journey toward Bethlehem. Six hundred fifty years before this God had decreed that His Son would be born in Bethlehem.
While in Bethlehem - Christ was born - in a stable - cradled in a manger. There in that little town of Bethlehem, the Son of God, in human form, had entered the stream of human history.
The unfathomable depths of divine counsels was revealed. The healing of the nations was issuing forth, but nothing was seen on the surface of human society, but the slight rippling of the water.
The angels describe Him perfectly, “There is born to you this day a Savior – Christ - Lord. At the Annunciation the angel said “He shall be great” etc.
Describe His Babyhood – childhood – manhood – Resurrection – Ascension - coming again - His kingdom - His eternal glory.
His is the greatest of all names, “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.” Phil 2.
The two shining ones announced His second coming, “This same Jesus” etc.
In response to His last message from heaven “Surely I come quickly,” John replies “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” Rev 22:20.