26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
By way of an angel, the message of Christ’s birth was delivered supernaturally: Our supernatural God would become flesh through supernatural means, conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, He would be great and called “the Son of the Most High” (v. 32). The title not only revealed Jesus’ position as God’s Son, but also His divine conception—God, not Joseph, was not Jesus’ father, and this was something that Mary could only ponder and marvel (vv. 34-35).
And in the same way that our names say something about our identity, so does the name of Jesus (v. 31). “Jesus” is equivalent to the Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua), meaning, "the Lord is salvation."
It was a common or popular name for Jewish boys during this time, as there was a strong nationalistic fervor in anticipation of one who would deliver the Jews from Roman oppression.
This Jesus would, indeed, save, but not from Rome: He saved us from sin and the wrath of God. And as the Son of God who lays down His life for salvation’s sake, “His kingdom will have no end” (v. 33).
- When has God’s good news seemed like an “interruption” in your life? How do we respond in faith instead of doubt?
- The Holy Spirit is at work in us who are saved, making us more like Jesus. What are some ways that we, as a people filled with the Holy Spirit, need to might serve one another with the gifts that the Holy Spirit empowers?
- Praise God for bringing Jesus, God’s Son in the flesh, to save you from a lifestyle of sin.