I. IN THE SIXTH MONTH THE ANGEL GABRIEL WAS SENT FROM GOD.
A. This would be the sixth month after Gabriel had come to Zacharias to inform him that his wife in her old age would have a child that would be great in the sight of the Lord, who would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb, who would go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah, to make the people ready for the coming of the Lord.
B. Somehow it seems that God put into Gabriel's hands the preparations for the birth of the Son of God.
1. It was Gabriel who came to Daniel some 550 years earlier to inform him of the year the Messiah would come. 483 years after the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
2. It was Gabriel who came to Zachrias to inform him that his wife would bear the forerunner of the Messiah.
3. Now Gabriel is telling Mary that she has been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah.
C. "Unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth."
1. Nazareth was a city with a bad reputation.
a. In years to come when Jesus begins His public ministry, when Philip found his friend Nathanael, he said come with me I have found the Messiah, He is Jesus of Nazareth. He responded, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"
b. Mary and Joseph lived in the village of Nazareth, and there Jesus will grow up though He will be born in Bethlehem, yet He will always be known as Jesus of Nazareth. His name will be associated with a city of bad reputation.
c. When He is grown he will be accused of keeping company with sinners and publicans.
d. However we will hear Him saying that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
II. THE PERSON TO WHOM THE ANGEL GABRIEL IS SENT, MARY.
A. She is a virgin. The Greek word is parthanos which can mean nothing else.
1. In Isaiah there is a prophecy where God said that He would give a sign, "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son and call His name Emanuel, which means God with us."
2. She is espoused to a man named Joseph.
a. In those days marriage was usually by arrangement. Many times the arrangement was made while the children were very small.
b. As they grew up and the time of the wedding approached, one year before they were married they would go into a period that was called the espousal. The espousal was an official relationship of commitment, and could only be broken by a writ of divorcement. It was a year of preparing themselves for each other.
3. She is of the house of David as is Joseph, however her lineage goes through Nathan the son of David whereas Joseph's goes through Jeconiah and Solomon.
4. The virgins name was Mary.
B. What the angel said concerning Mary.
1. She was highly favored.
a. Very highly favored for she had been chosen by God from all of the women who ever lived to be the instrument to bring the Messiah into the world.
b. Enough insights are given to us in the scriptures to cause us to know that God made a good choice.
2. The Lord was with her.
a. She had a beautiful and deep devotional life as is manifested in what is commonly termed the Magnificat of Mary recorded in the latter part of this chapter.
3. She was blessed among women.
4. She was to conceive in her womb and bring forth a Son, whom she was to name JESUS. Joshua.
C. Concerning her Son JESUS, the angel Gabriel said:
1. He shall be great.
a. Paul tells us that God has given to Him a name that is above all names that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
b. Peter said that there is no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved.
c. His name implies His mission. Savior.
2. He shall be called the Son of the Highest.
a. Son of the highest is equivalent to the Son of God.
b. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
3. The Lord God will give unto Him the throne of His father David.
a. This clearly identifies Him as the Messiah.
b. He will be the branch out of the stem of Jesse.
c. He will sit on the throne of David to order it and to establish it in judgment and righteousness forever.
4. He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever.
5. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.
III. MARY'S PERCEIVED DIFFICULTIES. HOW SHALL THIS BE SEEING I AM A VIRGIN.
A. Her's was not a question of doubt only of method.
B. The angel responded as to method.
1. The Holy Spirit shall come upon you. The Child was to be born by the agency of the Holy Spirit coming upon her.
2. The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.
a. The Highest is a reference to God the Father.
b. Her life is to be overshadowed by God the Father.
3. Thus the Holy One that was to be born of her would be called the Son of God.
4. The angel added, "For nothing shall be impossible with God."
a. Later Jesus Himself is to say, "For with God all things are possible.
b. Difficulty must always be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work. When God is the agent, any talk of difficulty is manifestly absurd.
IV. THE RESPONSE OF MARY, "BEHOLD THE HANDMAID OF THE LORD, BE IT UNTO ME ACCORDING TO THY WORD."
A. A sweet, quiet acquiescence to the will of God.
B. This surrender to the will of God will be costly in terms of personal suffering.
1. First of all the man she is engaged to will not understand her pregnancy, and will doubt her story at the beginning.
2. There will be whispering among the people as to her sudden pregnancy.
a. When Jesus was speaking to the Pharisee's they accused Him of being born of fornication.
b. So all of her life a cloud of suspicion will hang over her.
3. When she came to the Temple to present her Son Jesus to the Lord, a devout Godly man named Simeon will prophesy to her that a sword would pierce through her own soul.
4. She was to watch this perfect child and man, whom she loved more than here own life, as He is mocked, despised, and rejected by the Jews, and then be hung upon the cross to die.
C. I believe that she somehow understood this as she said, "Be it unto me according to thy word."