Reading For Tuesday Luke 1:26-56
When Elizabeth is six months pregnant, the angel Gabriel visits a young woman in Nazareth named Mary. She is betrothed to Joseph, a descendant of King David. The engagement for them was different than engagements today; it was as solemn a commitment as marriage. The respond to this visit was similar to the response of Zechariah, and she is troubled. What she is experiencing is something that she had only heard about because for generations there had been no prophet or visits such as this. It was startling to see such a creature inspire of the announced favor that she had from God. While she tried to reason what was taking place, Gabriel tells her not to be afraid for she has God's favor. As he continues, however, she is told that she will conceive, but it would not be ordinary in the least. This son would be great, the son of the most high God, and he would inherit the throne of his father, David. As wonderful as this reign and kingdom would be, Mary was bewildered as to how this could be. The explanation is that God the Holy Spirit would exercise his creative power and bring about this conception. Gabriel speaks words of encouragement as he explains that her relative Elizabeth that was thought to be barren was in her sixth month with a child. This news is followed by the declaration that nothing is impossible with God. Mary responds with faith and submits to God professing that she is the servant of the Lord.
Mary, now pregnant, goes to visit Elizabeth and upon Mary's greeting her baby begins to leap within her as she is filled with the Holy Spirit and begins to prophesy over her. Elizabeth proclaims that the mother of her Lord has come to visit her. Mary's response is to praise the Lord. She rejoices in her savior; she acknowledges her place, and she sees the favor of God and the evidence of this amazing grace. She remembers his faithfulness and speaks of his power and sovereignty. The poetry of her song is reminiscent of the Psalms, and there are many parallels in what she has to say. She sees the faithful God at work from the inception of the people that he had called to himself through his covenant with Abraham. This connection to Abraham is not only a symbol of God's promises of old, but this also points to a new way of defining the people of God. Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months before returning home. Imagine the conversations held between this matron and her young relative and the new insights they shared as God was visiting his people through a prophet and personally in the person of Jesus. Mary shows great faith and humble service throughout this difficult process. Her faithful God is powerful, and there is nothing that he cannot accomplish.
Things To Consider:
What do we learn about Mary through her encounter with Gabriel?
Contrast the response of Mary with the response of Zechariah.
Why was Mary blessed with God's favor?
What do we learn about God the Holy Spirit in this passage?
Are there any areas that you are not responding in submission and service to God? What are they? Will you repent?
What can we learn about Mary's relationship to God's word?
Why do you think Mary made reference to Abraham?
How do you think Mary benefitted from her time with Elizabeth?