26 In the sixth month, 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 be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name 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 the house of Jacob 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 upon 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 barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)
Considering all the other babies in this long story of God’s, perhaps it isn’t that much of a surprise that this part also involves a baby.
But the people of Israel were looking for a warrior king, someone to rule over them and lead them into battles. they were looking for the kind of king they had had before. Even though God had promised them a better king.
They were also looking for someone who would free them from the Romans. For Israel was part of the Roman empire now. They paid taxes to the Roman ruler, soldiers were everywhere, watching for signs of rebellion, and punishing those who tried to make trouble. Israel may have been hoping that the sign of God’s forgiveness looked more like a warrior to lead a rebellion and drive Rome out than anything else.
But the angel came to a poor girl, named Mary, a descendant of King David, who was to be married to a descendant of King David. The kings in Israel that Rome set up were not the descendants of David’s line. They were there to make it look like Israel was freer than it was, and to help Rome keep the people in line.
The angel tells her she will become pregnant with the Son of God, and that God will give this child the throne of his father David, and he would rule over all of Israel forever and ever.
Imagine if were Mary, and an angel just told you that
1. You would get pregnant before being married.
2. Your baby would be the son of God.
3. Your baby would be the true King of Israel, the heir of David.
4. His kingdom would never end.
Those are some pretty fantastic things to believe.
I wonder how she felt. What do you think?
In the end, she simply said, “May it be.”
She probably knew how much this baby would mess things up for her, and change her life. But she believed the promises, and said yes anyway.
What would you have done?
Later on Mary says some things that show that she was strong woman who looked for God’s justice in a world filled with darkness. Have you heard them before?
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
50 “And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
51 “He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
53 “He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 “He has given help to Israel His servant,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)
After years of waiting, the true king is about to arrive, and it’s not what anyone expected it to be.