But more than that, Luke intentionally mentions names and places of great significance. These specific facts point to the fulfillment of Scripture in the coming person of Jesus, tying Jesus to the promises of a coming Messiah. The time has come. The long-awaited, highly-hoped-for and anticipated Messiah is being sent.
Galilee, Nazareth, “a descendant of David”, a “virgin” pledged to be married, the name “Jesus” (means God saves), “the LORD God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (vv32, 33): each intentionally mentioned detail reveals the undeniable truth: this coming baby, as fulfillment of all prophetic Scripture, is indeed the Messiah. Even the noted connection between Elizabeth’s coming baby and Mary’s conception points to Scripture fulfillment since a sign pointing to the Messiah’s arrival will be the arrival of another before Him sent to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.
Luke points to the mighty acts of God in describing the announcement as well as the upcoming events. It was God-appointed, announced by an angel of God, and the Holy Spirit will hover once again in another miraculous moment of God-initiated, God-planned and God-enabled creating. For nothing will be impossible for God (not now, not ever, is Luke’s point).
And Mary, up to this moment, has been going through another “typical” day in her life, without notice she is brought into the presence of the divinely supernatural with the appearance of the angel, Gabriel, and her life is changed forever. Even though wrapped up in this glorious gift would also come much gossip and accusations, shaking heads and judgmental finger-pointing, Mary’s response remained humbly and faithfully obedient: “I am the Lord’s servant, May it be to me as you have said.”
Oh that we would trust God and respond humbly, faithfully, and obediently. In spite of the presence of ridicule or persecution, to also, like Mary, remain confident in God and in his plan. That we would trust Him through the process and with the outcome. The world will certainly misunderstand and oppose the ways of God, whether that means neighbors, friends, family. Standing firm requires knowing Who it is we live for and not losing focus..
God, praying we live our days for you, bringing you glory in all we say and all we do. Our eyes shift too quickly from your strength and your ways to our own. Praying we live more aware of You, that our thoughts and actions will arise from a life that is singly focused on You.
Merry Christmas Season! :)