Gabriel's call on Mary is not an offer; it's a pronouncement of God's sure plan and intention concerning her life.
Scripture: Luke 1:26-55
- The appearance of a strange man, the angel Gabriel, unannounced in Mary’s home would have been alarming to the peasant girl betrothed to Joseph.
- There is nothing that Mary had done to warrant God’s favour; it was solely by God’s grace.
- The greeting “The Lord is with you” prepared Mary to receive God’s special calling (commission) on her life.
- Gabriel’s call on Mary is not an offer; it’s a pronouncement of God’s sure plan and intention concerning her life.
- Mary accepts God’s call upon her without hesitation.
- By contrast, Moses, Gideon, Jonah, and Paul are reluctant at God’s call. But His calling is non-negotiable.
- Mary asks how she will conceive as a virgin, inquiring not in doubt, but with admiration of God’s good work.
- Gabriel says the Holy Spirit – the power of the Most High – will overshadow Mary (cf. Ex 40:35; Ezekiel 10).
- The dwelling of God on earth will be Mary’s womb. Elizabeth confirms this, exclaiming (lifting up her voice) that Mary herself is the place of God’s dwelling.
- Mary receives similar significance as the temple and the ark of the covenant. She is the place of God’s dwelling, where God sits enthroned.
- Likewise, we as believers are a temple of the Holy Spirit; we are the sanctuary; we are the holy place of God.
- In the new covenant, God will write His law upon our hearts.
- The world should see the righteousness and justice of God’s reign in our lives; God’s peace and justice should be manifest in our lives.
- God’s Word to us today is: “Greetings; you are favoured; receive Me; I want my glory to be upon you; I will give you a new heart, give you new life, and pardon your sin.”
- Our response is Mary’s: “Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
- In life’s trials and challenges, God’s word to us is: “Fear not; the power of the Most High overshadows you.”
- This meal (the Lord’s Supper) recognizes God’s presence upon us.
- Christ sustained His people in the wilderness; and so He sustains us by the Lord’s Supper; nourishing our faith, confirming that we are in God’s presence.
- Christ is with us this morning, just as He was with Mary,
- Why was Mary alarmed at the angel’s appearance? What were Mary’s natural fears given Gabriel’s announcement?
- Do we respond like Mary to God’s announcement of His call upon our lives?
- How are we in some sense 1) a temple, and 2) an ark of the covenant?
- Are our lives a testimony of God’s reign and rule in the world?
- Is God’s peace and justice manifest in our lives? How can we display these attributes of God’s rule in our lives this week?