Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. Genesis 3:15 and Daniel 2:44, these ancient passages, along with a multitude of others in the Hebrew Bible, both present and foretell an event that is far more than astonishing or are even believable–the birth of the Son of the Most High to a young virgin girl, who is a ‘commoner’ in every way.
2. There is nothing in Scripture to commend the virgin except that she is a “favored one.” Here we see grace in a most incredible way.
3. Mary herself is not without sin, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as Paul asserts in Romans 3:23. Still she is the “favored one.”
4. Gabriel, an angel, meaning a messenger of God, is dispatched to a small town of no account in Galilee named Nazareth. Excavations show it was an agricultural area. Gabriel comes to Mary and greets her. He (angels are neither male nor female) then tells Mary she will give birth to a child.
5. Mary questions the possibility of her having a child since she is a virgin, though betrothed to a man. (The actual marriage would occur later according to custom.)
6. The child born to her will be “holy,” even the very child of God. Plus, he would be the result of a miraculous birth.
7. Mary has a cousin named Elizabeth, who is now six months pregnant, and miraculously so, with John who will be called “The Baptist.” It is almost like an invitation to visit her.
8. Gabriel discloses this fact to Mary so that she knows that nothing is impossible with God. 9. Mary does not question, or argue, with Gabriel; she simply declares that she is a “servant” of the Lord. We note the word servant is “doulos” in the Greek and means slave.