An angel prepares Mary. Preaching of John the Baptist

Six months after Gabriel appeared to Zechariah in the temple in Jerusalem, the same angel appeared to Mary in the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Mary was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph (Luke 1:26-28). She was startled and puzzled when the angel told her that, though still a virgin, she would give birth to a son, and this son would be the promised Messiah. He would be in a unique sense God’s Son and his kingdom would be eternal (Luke 1:29-34). Mary’s pregnancy would come about not through any sexual relations with Joseph, but through the direct creative power of the Spirit of God. The son born to her would be of Adam’s race but free of any trace of Adam’s sin. He would not be one whom God merely adopted as his son, but one who was actually God’s Son. He would be the head of a new creation (Luke 1:35).

Mary knew that in the eyes of the public her pregnancy would spoil her honourable reputation, but she humbly submitted herself to the will of God. If she had any doubts about what God could do, Elizabeth’s recent experience might have been an encouragement to her. The two women were close relatives (Luke 1:36-38).

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