“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26). Gabriel is the same angel who 600 years earlier visited Daniel. Gabriel seems to be the angel that God sends when he has a really important message. Mary, a virgin betrothed, is a pure young woman, legally engaged to be married. This is an important detail. Here is the important message.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” ~Luke 1:30-33
This is a huge announcement, but Mary zeroes in on one detail. “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. She is a virgin betrothed. She knows the facts of life. She knows how babies are made. She wants an explanation.
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” ~Luke 1:35
That was the explanation, and it is the wonder of heaven, but Mary knew it is not going to play well on earth. Nazareth and Bethlehem are small towns. Tongues will wag, her reputation will be lost. Mary’s life will change forever. Gabriel may have called out to Mary, “Greetings, O favored one” (Luke 1:28), but Mary knew she is about to become a woman of shame. Mary is a young teenage girl, engaged to a righteous man, and she is about to be pregnant. That is the situation presented to Mary by the angel Gabriel, and this is her response. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’” Do not miss two small words, “to me.” Mary knows what is being asked of her. “And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38). Enough said, Mary heard all she needed and so did Gabriel.
My God, You announced the coming of Your Son to humble people hidden in Judea, and they believed in You and faithfully obeyed. You showed Your great love and gave them Jesus and their life was never the same. Neither has been mine. You change everything.
God, I don’t need to know the details, I need to know You, better and better. My faith in You is not blind, even if I do not know what is to come. I know You, and that is enough.