December 4, 2022
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
Ok; let’s get the silly stuff out of the way first: when you hear that song this month, “Mary Did You Know?” You can shout YES at the radio. Of course she knew. Angel Gabriel explained it to her pretty thoroughly. Ok. Rant over.
Verse 35 always gets me, “… that holy thing which shall be born of thee …” When I read the Bible for the first time (I was probably in my thirties), I was shocked when I read ‘holy thing’. I mean, how rude is that, calling Jesus a ‘thing’. But over the years and many additional readings of the Bible, it occurred to me – what do you call something that has never been before and will always be and is awaited in the Second Coming? What do you call something that is both human and divine all at the same time in the same body for all eternity? The Oxford Languages online Dictionary defines the word ‘thing’ in this manner: an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to. Gabriel had, in fact, given a specific name and he can not explain what Jesus is – that was above his pay grade, so to speak, as it was Jesus who revealed Himself as being from and with and in the Father. I’ve become comfortable with ‘thing’ but if this is possible – my eye ‘stumbles’ over that word every time I read it.
This is just an aside but it’s what I’m thinking so I’ll share it with you. When Mary and Elizabeth met on that particular day, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy. Jesus and John knew each other pre-birth. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, they recognized each other. Later on, how else could John have known, “26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” (John, chapter 1) It sort of gives me goose bumps. How great is God? John knows Jesus because he always has. When things become bad for John, he sends his disciples to ask of Jesus, are you the one? From Matthew 11 “And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:” John had a time of doubting – we all have had our time of doubting. Jesus reassures him by reminding him of the miraculous things Jesus has done.
The Bible tells us the God knew us before we were born. Jesus and John knew each other before they were born. It’s a God thing.